Still, Trump’s unconventional campaign pushes on seemingly unconcerned. And all while, the nation is watching: Media outlets have extensively covered the presumptive Republican nominee across the board, but none more so than Spanish-language media. “We did studies that showed the major Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, have been covering [the presidential race] more than their English-language counterparts,” said Ken Oliver-Mendez, the director of Media Research Center Latino, a conservative media watchdog. But more coverage doesn’t mean positive coverage. Six months ago, Two.42.Solutions, a nonpartisan media-analytics company, found that 87 out of 100 Trump mentions on Spanish-language media—across online, print, and broadcast—were negative. By comparison, Two.42.Solutions co-founder Mohammad Hamid said, just 61 out of 100 Trump mentions on English-language media were negative during the same period. Notably, since then, negative mentions of Trump have jumped in English-language media to 81 out of 100 and only slightly increased to 88 out of 100 in Spanish-language media. So while Spanish-language media has been critical of Trump, negative mentions have stayed steady.
That’s not to say Univision has gone easy on the Democrats though. Ramos has pressed Democratic presidential candidates on issues of concern to Latino voters, particularly on immigration. In March, the network held a Democratic debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Ramos, along with the Univision anchor Elena Salinas and The Washington Post’s Karen Tumulty, asked the candidates about their approaches to deportation and how they’d pass immigration reform. According to Nielsen, roughly 2 million viewers tuned into Univision for the debate, and another 4 million viewers watched on CNN, which was also airing the debate.
Still, as the race pivots to a general-election audience, the network has struggled to bring Trump on Univision. A number of former Republican presidential candidates also have not made appearances on the network. “We feel Latinos deserve to hear from both of their candidates, so they can make an informed choice about who they want for president,” Torres said, adding that Univision has tried using different mediums, like social media, to engage the candidates. Oliver-Mendez was also critical of the hands-off approach some Republicans have taken to Spanish-language media. “There is an underrepresentation of conservative viewpoints on controversial policy issues,” he said. “It’s not just a one-way street. Conservatives also need to engage.” If they don’t, Republicans could end up yielding the majority of the Latino vote to Democrats for both Congress and the White House.
In addition to its robust political coverage, Univision has rolled out efforts to mobilize Latino voters. The nonpartisan effort, Vote for Your America, kicked off in February. (In 2012, Univision, along with other organizations, launched the Ya Es Hora campaign to increase awareness of voter participation.) The Vote for Your America campaign includes a digital election guide, as well as a bilingual text-messaging tool. According to Univision, more than 400,000 users have received Vote for Your America text messages across the United States. “The whole purpose of it is to provide a comprehensive, nonpartisan platform that provides information to Hispanics and Millennials and multicultural voters like you’ve never seen before,” said Jessica Herrera-Flanigan, Univision’s executive vice president of government and corporate affairs.
Univision said it’s not supporting any candidate. But then, it doesn’t always take an endorsement to influence an election.