Friday, November 04, 2005

"Cues" in California’s Special Election: Working the Latino Community

The Special Election is coming up in California next Tuesday, November the 8th. The Guvernator’s job approval rating according to a recent Los Angeles Times Poll stand at a measly 40% so it seems the momentum is on the side of the Democratic Party and their allies and that is a positive sign for Democrats because according to studies “ . . . partisanship is one of the best predictors of individual and county level votes on ballot measures.”

In my recent posting “Initiatives: What Were the Progressive Thinking?” I discussed how citizens rely on what political scientists call “cues” when making their decisions on how to vote on propositions. Interesting commercials have been airing recently with very, very catching “cues.” One of the best I’ve seen that illustrates how “cues” are used is a commercial that airs on Univision.

Univision is one of the Spanish media companies that serve the Latino population in America. One of its stations, KMEX-12 in Los Angeles has been airing an impressive "NO on Propositions 74, 75, 76, and 77" commercial. However, lets go back in history a bit and review Proposition 187 before discussing the commercial. In November 1994 the voters enacted 187 into law (although it was later overturned by the Courts). The goal of 187 was to prevent undocumented residents from receiving public aid. The campaign was bitter and then Governor Pete Wilson was at the forefront of the nasty campaign. Wilson became the most hated politician in the Latino community.

Cut to the commercial: With a narrator in the background speaking about power grabs, we see a picture of Pete Wilson, then the photo morphs into a snap of Arnold Schwarzenegger. The commercial does this several times and then the narrator asks, “Do you trust these men?” Brilliant move. Chevere! I can just hear the chatter in Español across the Southland and a whole lot of cussin’.

I predict a good Latino turnout in this Special Election and the votes ain’t going to the Gropernator.


To read more about the Propositions in this Election visit here.

To read more about Proposition 187, visit here.

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