MEMO: Hispanic Media Campaign Has Made A Real Impact
Date: July 25, 2012
To: SEIU and Priorities USA Action
From: Andrew Myers and Ben Lazarus
Hispanic Media Campaign Has Made A Real Impact
- Mitt Romney’s favorability ratings are damaged among Hispanic voters in Colorado, Nevada and Florida’s Orlando and Tampa media markets.
- This damage is clearly a result of SEIU and Priorities’ media campaign.
According to the results of our recent tracking polls in Colorado, Nevada and Florida’s Orlando and Tampa media markets, the SEIU / Priorities Spanish-language independent expenditure campaign targeted at Hispanic voters has made a clear impact on the dynamics of the Presidential contest. This, despite the fact that the independent expenditure campaign engaged while Romney was rising in other national and state polls after securing the GOP nomination, communicated on Spanish language media, and delivered a well-publicized speech at NALEO. In each state, President Obama continues to dominate over Mitt Romney among likely Hispanic voters and is performing at or above 2008 exit poll levels; in Colorado he leads by 45-points, 70 to 25 percent; in the Orlando market he leads by 34-points, 64 to 30 percent; in the Tampa market he leads by 33-points, 63 to 30 percent; and in Nevada he leads by 45-points, 69 to 24 percent.
More importantly, these surveys demonstrate that this campaign has had a real effect in framing and discrediting Romney among Hispanic voters, resulting in a clear upward trajectory in Mitt Romney’s negative personal ratings across each of these states. While the impact is visible overall, it is far more profound among those who get their news about politics in both English and Spanish. Indeed, the trends are particularly marked among the consumers of Spanish language news, as unfavorable ratings of Romney have spiked in each state among those who report that they get their news on elections in the U.S. from both English and Spanish sources. Moreover, we see a significant uptick in the intensity of Romney’s negatives; his strongly unfavorable ratings have increased by 10-points in Colorado (from 46 to 56 percent), by 19-points in the Orlando market (from 29 to 48 percent), by 9-points in the Tampa market (from 33 to 42 percent) and by 4-points in Nevada (from 42 to 46 percent). In total, the results of these surveys suggest that Romney’s communications have proven completely ineffective.
As shown in the graph to the right, only about 1-in-5 Hispanic voters in Colorado continue to greet Romney favorably, but his unfavorable ratings have grown by 8-points over the course of the last two months, and today nearly two-thirds of voters have negative personal impressions of him. The spike in Romney’s unfavorables has been driven almost entirely by the SEIU / Priorities media efforts, and the changes are profound among those who get their election information from both English and Spanish news sources, where Romney’s unfavorable ratings grew by 15-points to 60 percent.
In the Tampa and Orlando DMAs we also see real change in perceptions of Romney. Romney’s unfavorables have grown in both markets, but the leap in the Tampa market is impressive, as shown in the graph to the left. In fact, in the Tampa market, it is clear that we are in the midst of a developing trend with Romney’s favorables dropping by 8-points, his neutral impressions growing by 7-points, and his unfavorables increasing by 2-points.
Across the two Florida markets, Romney is more damaged among those who get their political news from both Spanish and English sources, as shown in the graph to the right, and as a result of SEIU / Priorities’ communications efforts.
Finally in a clear sign of real trouble for Romney, less than a quarter of Nevada Hispanic voters view him favorably today (a 5-point decline since May), and his unfavorable ratings have grown by 5-points over the course of the last two months, with a majority of voters now expressing negative personal impressions of him. Similar to what we see in Colorado, and as shown in the graph below, the spike in Romney’s unfavorables has been driven almost entirely by those who get their election information from Spanish news sources.
Broadly, these data make it crystal clear that the SEIU / Priorities media campaign has been remarkably successful in communicating to Hispanic voters that Romney is not on the side of working people and does not have their best interests at heart. In all three surveys voters give Obama a very robust advantage on the perception of which candidate is closest to “being on your side”; in Colorado it is a 41-point edge; a 40-point edge in Nevada; a 35-point edge in the Orlando market and a 30-point edge in the Tampa market. Obama is also favored broadly on the notion of “protecting Medicare and Social Security”, holding a 42-point advantage in Colorado on this dimension, a 43-point advantage in Nevada, a 34-point advantage in the Orlando market, and a 36-point advantage in the Tampa market.
 Myers Research | Strategic Services, LLC designed and administered these telephone surveys conducted by professional, bilingual interviewers in the respondents’ language of choice. Each survey reached 500 adults, 18 years or older, who are registered to vote, who indicated they consider themselves to be Hispanic, Latino or Spanish speaking Americans, and who indicated that they are almost certain to vote, will probably vote, or the chances are 50-50 that they will vote in the November 2012 election for President. 85 percent of interviews were conducted on landlines and 15 percent of interviews were conducted on cell phones. The Colorado and Florida surveys were conducted July 11-17, 2012, and the Nevada survey was conducted July 11-18, 2012. The margin of error associated with these data at a 95 in 100 percent confidence level is +/- 4.4 percent. The margin of error for subgroups is greater and varies.