Republican State Senator Bruce McPherson spent more than $300,000 on Spanish-language television ads in his unsuccessful bid to defeat incumbent Hispanic Democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante. Newly-elected Democratic Congresswoman Linda Sanchez credits strong support within the Hispanic community in the new Los Angeles-area district for her election. She aired nearly $85,000 on Spanish-language broadcast television ads in the Los Angeles market. Her sister, Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez, was featured in one of Gray Davis’ Spanish-language television spots.
Republican Governor George Pataki was re-elected with a large percentage of support from among the Hispanic community in New York despite having spent less on Spanish-language television advertising than either of his opponents. Pataki spent at least $820,000 on more than 550 spots. His opponents, Independent billionaire businessman Tom Golisano (at least $2.4 million during the general election, nearly 650 spots) and Democratic State Comptroller Carl McCall (at least $1 million during the general and primary elections, nearly 850 spots) both spent more and aired more spots but were unable to crack Pataki’s strong support within the community. McCall’s Democratic primary opponent, Andrew Cuomo, spent almost $75,000 on Spanish-language ads in the primary.
Polls indicate that Democratic businessman and gubernatorial candidate Tony Sanchez captured a clear majority of the Texas Hispanic vote, with help from more than $1.8 million (nearly 5,000 spots) in Spanish-language television advertising. His victorious opponent, Republican Governor Rick Perry, spent a significant amount on Spanish-language broadcast television – at least $630,000 (more than 900 spots).
Republican Land Commissioner David Dewhurst was elected Texas Lieutenant Governor in a hotly contested race. Dewhurst spent more than $300,000 on Spanish-language television ads during the campaign.
Former Democratic Dallas mayor Ron Kirk was defeated in the Senate though more than $185,000 worth of Spanish-language television ads was aired by the Texas Democratic Party on his behalf. Kirk’s opponent, Senator-elect John Cornyn aired limited amounts of Spanish-language broadcast television ads in the state’s top media markets. One of Cornyn’s only Spanish-language ads was simply a translation of an English ad he was airing across the state.
Republican Senator Wayne Allard outspent Democratic ex-U.S. Attorney Tom Strickland by 3-2 on Spanish-language television advertising ($90,000 - $60,000) in his successful re-election campaign. Republican Governor Bill Owens spent $25,000 on Spanish-language television ads and was re-elected by a wide margin. The relatively modest spending may blur a strong lesson learned from this election cycle: candidates in a growing number of states are beginning to make Spanish-language advertising a permanent part of their campaign communications strategies. For the first time, multiple statewide candidates in Colorado spent tens of thousands of dollars on Spanish-language television ads and the Democratic and Republican parties both initiated large-scale Hispanic outreach efforts.
Democratic Governor-elect Bill Richardson, the former Congressman and Clinton Administration Energy Secretary, soundly defeated his Republican opponent with significant support from the state’s very large Hispanic population. Richardson aired more than $155,000 in Spanish-language broadcast television ads this year while his opponent, John Sanchez, who is also Hispanic, aired very few ads in Spanish.
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