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Obama Woos Folks With "Funny Names"

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A pro-Obama political action committee (PAC) just released a raft of television ads in New Mexico, a critical battleground state where one-in-three voters is Latino.

As Feet in 2 Worlds' Martina Guzman reported in her recent feature on WNYC New York Public Radio, the campaigns are increasingly targeting their multimillion dollar Latino voter outreach efforts to ever-smaller slivers of the electorate. Guzman noted that the McCain campaign is wooing older Latino votes, while the Obama campaign is focusing on young Latino voters via social-networking sites like Facebook and Mi Gente and ads aired on YouTube and the Spanish-language broadcast giant Univision.

The latest ad, produced in identical English and Spanish versions, focuses on establishing a connection between the spectrum of mostly young people featured on the screen and Obama, noting, "For Barack Obama, it doesn't matter if your name is hard to pronounce, or where you're from... what's important is working hard and getting a good education...."

The Obama campaign ad running in New Mexico also responds to market research (albeit most of it done by Univision or its partner Nielsen Media Research) that found 77% of KMEX (Los Angeles’ Univision outlet) and WXTV (the Univision outlet in the New York metropolitan area) viewers are bilingual.

Young or old, Univision clearly feels its viewers are hungry for more election-related information: the network announced yesterday that it will ‘deliver the most extensive multiplatform election coverage in the network’s history’, with special election-related segments and live daily reports from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Eleven million Latinos are expected to vote in this year's presidential election (60% more than in the 2004 elections), and 3 million of them are young voters.

Read more at Feet In 2 Worlds, where this post originally appeared.