Mitt Romney is now reaching voters in each of Florida's 10 TV markets with this Spanish-language ad buy that supplements his purchase last week of $850,000 in ads. Romney was the first Republican presidential candidate to begin advertising and now he's the first to do so in Spanish.
It's particularly crucial in Miami-Dade where 72 percent of the registered Republicans are Hispanic, an overwhelmingly of Cuban descent. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale broadcast market was the only one Romney skipped in his broadcast-air buy last week, a testament to its expense and a sign that he intended to narrowcast to Hispanic voters with this buy.
At the same time, he has sent at least two mail pieces to the more than 415,000 Republicans who have requested absentee ballots. About 50,000 have returned them. He has also mailed likely Republican voters who have yet to receive an absentee ballot. While the voting's going on, Romney is also all over the cable- and nightly-news shows in the wake of his wins in Iowa and New Hampshire. And he's leading in the polls by double digits.
Put it all together and, if this keeps up while, it looks like Romney could bank tens of thousands of votes before the polls officially open Jan. 31 or early voting begins in Florida 10 days before. The biggest knock on Romney right now: The pro-Newt Gingrich SuperPac that has released a 28-minute ad that excoriates Romney as a job-killer. The ad, though, is not scheduled to run in Florida, only South Carolina.
Romney's shop won't disclose how much it spent or how long the new Spanish-language ad will run. It's narrated by his son, Craig Romney, and it features three of the most recognizable figures in Miami politics: U.S. Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Mario Diaz-Balart and his brother, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, a former congressman. The third Republican congressman from Miami, Rep. David Rivera, appears to be supporting Romney's rival, Newt Gingrich.
Here's the ad:
CRAIG ROMNEY: “The United States represents liberty, opportunity, where anything is possible. I am Craig Romney. My father, Mitt Romney believes in those American values because he has lived them and will fight to restore the greatness of our nation.”