By Maxwell Tani
January 6, 2016
The Democratic National Committee is launching its first Spanish-language video of the election year, a spot that hits Republican candidates for opposing President Barack Obama's executive action on gun control.
The video compiled Hispanic media clips of Obama's major speech on Tuesday, when the president teared up while discussing the effects of gun violence.
"The majority of gun owners support universal background checks," text in the ad reads. "But all of the Republican candidates oppose the prevention of firearm violence."
Pablo Manriquez, the director of Hispanic media at the DNC, told Business Insider that voters could expect to see similar ads targeted at Spanish-speaking voters throughout 2016. The committee is attempting to ensure that Hispanics viewing English news clips online are aware of Democratic messaging on various issues.
"A lot of times you have these moments, and they don't appear in YouTube with subtitles," Pablo Martinez said. "So it's about making sure that Hispanic audiences, and Spanish-speaking audiences in particular, have access to these kinds of moments."
Manriquez said he felt that the issue of gun control was particularly resonant with Latino communities, which are often disproportionately affected by gun violence.
"It is something that creates insecurity and fear that stunts our ability to fully grasp the American dream, in some cases," Manriquez said.
Few underestimate the power that the Latino vote will play in coming elections, as a large share of both the electorate and key swing states.
According to the left-leaning Center for American Progress, Latinos are expected to account for 13% of eligible voters in 2016, with higher percentages projected in swing states including Nevada, Florida, and Colorado.
Though immigration reform remains most important among Hispanic voters, Democratic candidates are making an effort to highlight how the party's platform benefits Latinos beyond immigration.
During a strategy session at presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton's Brooklyn headquarters late last year dedicated to engaging Latina voters, Clinton's Latino outreach director said she noticed how gun control had become a major issue that energized Clinton's Latino supporters.
"You know what's so interesting is that a lot of people have assumptions that we come together as Latinas and that the only thing that we really talk about is immigration," the Clinton campaign's Lorella Praeli told Business Insider.
"What I found ... is that women talking about gun control and how important that was in their community and for them because of their kids and their families."
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