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The Bilingual U.S. Presidential Campaign

Updated on June 12, 2012

If you happen to live in a state where the population is heavily Spanish, like Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Arizona etc., both candidates are preparing ads targeted to win the Hispanic vote in these key states. In states considered not important, regardless of Hispanic composition, ad campaigns will remain in English.

Now, we know how business, in general, cater to Spanish populations. I mean, with their percentage in some states hitting 40% Spanish any MBA program would tell you to target that market in their language to market goods. It makes sense, good business but it does promote those who do not know English, not to learn it, and it is to their benefit to do so because they cannot live their lives under a "Spanish community cocoon" all the time. I mean, it is America, not Spain, Mexico. They will face English only situations they will need to navigate. I do think employers frequently use a "bilingual" requirement as a language discrimination for jobs. Having one or employees bilingual is fine, but to require all of the staff is discrimination. The Canadians have a similar situation in Quebec, where, French is the main language spoken besides English.

But, having a US Presidential candidate spend millions of dollars creating ads in Spanish only can backfire. There are many qualified people for a job that as passed up because they do not speak Spanish well enough or at all. These voters may resent the fact their candidate is now catering to Spanish voters in Spanish. They could easily vote for the other out of spite.

President Obama is spending over four million on these ads attacking Romney. In turn, Romney is firing back in Spanish with, "Barack Obama: No es el amigo que se dice es" because Obama in 2007 voted against the immigration bill then. Both candidates try to use Spanish at times to appeal to the Hispanic voter, not always effective, as most would understand English. Do they really think that most of the 30-40% Hispanic voters do not understand English well enough? How stupid. Most of them are American or have lived here for years. Many are products of American schools from K-12 and more. Only a small percentage are unable to understand basic English.

The funny thing is that many 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics do not know Spanish or know it well enough to speak it. It is quite hilarious when a Hispanic person is confronted by another Hispanic person in Spanish and the other responds with, "No comprende", do you speak English?

Dude, I may look Spanish, but I'm American. Ay, caramba!


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 5 years ago

      It will be interesting how both play the latino population and how they vote.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 5 years ago from USA

      Hooray for telling it like it is. I hope Romney reconsiders any Spanish language campaigning. Hispanics will look up to him and get their votes when he campaigns in English. Let the other side go Mexican, Barack looks a lot less Mexican and will look like pandering at any cost.