Romney's Stingy New Spanish Ad

Big news from Mitt Romney's campaign came Wednesday at 6:29 a.m., bright and early enough for a slew of media outlets to grab and post for their morning viewers. Along with the launch of the Republican nominee's Spanish-language web site, the campaign was releasing its eighth Spanish-language ad "in target markets around the country.'' The spot features Romney's telegenic, bilingual son, Craig, describing him as a loving husband, father and grandfather.

Highlighting a candidate's families ties is a tried-and-true strategy in the Hispanic community, but this ad won't be seen by the masses. Two Democratic media trackers said the campaign had only committed about $57,000 to the spot.

Spread between Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Ohio, that's a pittance.
The same trackers say Romney has spent only about $350,000 to date on Spanish media, compared to about $4 million in ads promised by the pro-President Obama Priorities USA Action and the Service Employees International Union. Obama's campaign has spent another $2 million on Spanish media.

It's like Romney -- who trails Obama by leaps and bounds among Hispanic voters -- isn't even trying to compete. Why does he even bother to air ads in Spanish?

One theory is that the campaign's small Spanish-language media buys are like Romney's speech Wednesday to the NAACP -- not necessarily aimed at their Obama-leaning target audiences. Instead, the campaign hopes the (free) publicity about the ads and the speech on television and on-line will indirectly influence voters looking for a candidate of good will who is trying to reach out to a diverse electorate.