What do you do when you've hit the $12 million mark for television ad buys by mid-June?
Go up on radio if you're Gov. Rick Scott.
And do it first in Spanish.
Starting Thursday, the Republican's re-election campaign plans to air a positive Spanish-language radio spot that revolves around Scott's promise to create jobs and Florida's improving economy
"What do we expect from our elected officials? That if they make a promise, they keep it. That they care about our future," the ad says. "Today there are 600,000 new jobs that businesses have created and unemployment is declining. Rick Scott promised not to raise taxes; Rick Scott has cut taxes 40 times."
The radio ad is another Spanish-language first for Scott. As with his earlier-than-ever Spanish-language TV ad announced in April, the radio spot shows he's reaching out to this crucial demographic. Unlike most places in the United States, 72 percent of the registered Republicans in Florida's most-populous county, Miami-Dade, are Hispanic (nearly all of Cuban descent). Scott's running mate, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, also hails from Miami.
Scott has so far run nine TV ads, two in Spanish. His chief Democratic rival, Charlie Crist, hasn't had the finances to match him and hasn't yet bought TV time.
Polls indicate the ads -- especially the negative ones targeting Crist -- have had an effect. SurveyUSA tracking polls paid for by WFLA-TV in Tampa indicated last week that the race shifted 7 percentage points in Scott's favor in about a month.
Scott now holds an inside-the-error margin lead of 42-40 percent over Crist compared to Crist's 46-41 percent lead in April. That is, Crist lost 6 points and Scott gained 1.
If there is a trend in Scott's favor or Crist's disfavor, it increases the chances that the Democrat will start advertising sometime this month. Crist backers also hope for help from outside groups, such as the Democratic Governor's Association.
Geographically speaking, the percentage breakdowns of Scott's ad buys have remained about the same: A plurality of the money is being spent in Tampa Bay (Crist's base) and Orlando's the second-largest market. Together they account for about half of Scott's TV spending.
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Here's the radio script in Spanish and English:
VOICE: ¿Que esperamos de nuestros oficiales electos? Que si hacen una promesa, que la cumplan. Que se preocupen por nuestro future. Que busquen la manera de crear oportunidades. Eso es lo que ha representado el Gobernador Rick Scott para nuestro estado. El prometió crear empleos. Hoy hay 600,000 nuevos trabajos que las empresas han creado y el desempleo va en descenso. Rick Scott prometió no aumentar impuestos. Rick Scott ha cortado impuestos 40 veces. Solamente en este año rebajó 500 millones de dólares en impuestos. Prometió crear más oportunidades, Rick Scott ha logrado que empresas se muden a la Florida para crear buenos puestos de trabajo. ¿Entonces, que esperamos de nuestros oficiales electos? Que cumplan, como Rick Scott. Rick Scott cumpliendo promesas, creando oportunidades.
VOICE TRANSLATED: What do we expect from our elected officials? That if they make a promise, they keep it. That they care about our future. That they seek ways to create opportunities. That is what Governor Rick Scott has meant for our state. He promised to create jobs. Today there are 600,000 new jobs that businesses have created and unemployment is declining. Rick Scott promised not to raise taxes; Rick Scott has cut taxes 40 times. This year alone he reduced taxes by $500 million. He promised to create more opportunities; Rick Scott has succeeded in getting companies to move to Florida to create good jobs. Then, what do we expect from our elected officials? That they do what the promise, like Rick Scott. Rick Scott, keeping promises, creating opportunities.