Hispanic voters seem to be shaping up to be the soccer moms and NASCAR dads of the 2012 election – both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee have been targeting Hispanic voters, particularly in Florida, with television, radio and new media ads.
Polls show that Hispanic voters are leaving the Democratic Party "in droves," and the DNC is afraid, said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in announcing the party's fourth "Change Direction" ad, which plays off the president's successful "Hope and Change" slogan. The RNC plans to air a Spanish-language radio spot in Florida as well.
"It's clear that this president's failed economic policies have Hispanic voters looking for a change of direction," he said. "It's obvious that this president, while in love with his own voice, is not in love with following through oh his promises. No matter your background, that truth is known across the country."
Democrats countered that Republicans have been unwilling to compromise on the economy, including the looming debt ceiling deadline.
"While President Obama looks to find sensible solutions to getting our fiscal house in order, the RNC continues to show they’d rather run negative ads than work in good faith to create jobs,” said DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse. "The American people are calling out for their leaders in Washington to work together to reduce the deficit and create jobs, but the Republican Party has shown repeatedly they’re more interested in ideological purity than doing what is right for the country.”
Priebus also boasted of having the country's Hispanic political luminaries in their corner, including GOP Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who he called "an absolute star."
"We have the political stars of the Hispanic community in our party. They are the rising stars, and they're with us," he said.
When asked whether he thought Florida Gov. Rick Scott's low poll numbers would hurt GOP presidential chances in Florida, Priebus said he thinks the election will be "all about Barack Obama and the fact that he's taking our country in a ditch. That's what's going to matter -- Obama's record, what he did, and what the disparity is between his accomplishments and where we are in the economy."
"He's not on the ballot, and I don't think a governor that's been there for two years is going to affect what people think about the direction of our country and who sits in the White House," he said.
And just when will that primary be? Both Florida and Arizona are talking about moving their GOP primaries forward, ahead of the Feb. 6 Iowa caucuses. Priebus warned that the rules for violating the national GOP calendar mean states lose half of their delegates at the RNC convention.
Florida GOP chairman David Bitner said this: "We'll be working closely with the RNC on how we can have a 'win-win.'"