Tuesday, February 7, 2023

The DCCC Increases Spending on Political Ads to Focus on Latino Voters

Democrats are surprised at a South Texas district they had expected to win easily, but it began to appear less of a certainty.

After the Cook Political Report changed its rating of the state’s 34th Congressional District from “lean Democrat” to “toss-up,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) began airing TV ads in English and Spanish and criticized Republican Rep. Maya Flores as an extremist who “sided with the mob when they stormed the Capitol.” The DCCC explained the ad was part of an aggressive, well-funded campaign to engage Latino voters this election.

In the district where about 86 percent of registered voters are Latino, Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez won the race, defeating Flores by about 8.5 percentage points. Amid the aggression of Republican spending in the region’s elections, the DCCC ads were welcome, Gonzalez’s campaign said.

“We did historic investments when it came to Latino voters and voters of color,” said Maríafernanda Zacarías, DCCC senior adviser for Latino engagement.

The DCCC developed a memo for NBC News that said the Latino support harnessed by the group contradicted two years of forecasting from pundits, media figures, and Democratic strategists that there would be a departure of Latino support for Democrats this election cycle. The memo also proclaims the wins by at least eight Latinx Democratic candidates in House battlefield districts, including the districts of California, New Mexico, Texas, Oregon, and Colorado.

The DCCC spent $18 million on money for TV and digital ads and other forms of communication to target Latino races across the country. The committee also set aside the election for its Build Our Base program, which focuses on growing support among voters of color.

The DCCC spent about $100.4 million on TV, radio, and online advertising and about $4.6 million on Spanish-language advertising. Hundreds of millions more were also spent on Democratic and Republican campaigns and their affiliated outside groups. Winner Vicente Gonzales was one of the beneficiaries of the spending.

Democratic strategist Matt Angle agreed with DCCC that Republicans fell short on representing the rhetoric and goals in wooing Latino voters. Democrats invested in holding their Latino support and “mostly succeeded,” said Angle, who runs the Lone Star Project supporting Texas Democrats. Angle also says the DCCC memo reflects a defensive strategy based on not losing ground with Latinos rather than “broadening and deepening support for Democrats beyond districts already held or drawn to be held by Democrats.”

“More and earlier investments would have helped secure candidates and undermine the progress Republicans had made with their Latino connections”, Angle said.

NBC News