How Hispanic Radio Is Shaping The Sound of Politics In 2024


    With 31 weeks to go until Election Day 2024, both Democrats and Republicans have been paying more attention to AM/FM radio to gain multicultural voters, as those demographics hold increasing sway over the political outcome of the US.

    President Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee have been pouring millions into radio ads in swing states. In March alone, former President Donald Trump’s largest super PAC spent hundreds of thousands in Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Michigan on radio ads targeting Hispanic and Black voters.

    As part of his radio push, President Biden has also been speaking with more Hispanic stations, including an interview with Nueva Network‘s Alex Lucas on his syndicated show El Genio LucasRadio Ink talked with Nueva Network CEO Jose Villafañe about the heightened importance of Hispanic radio in the 2024 election cycle.

    Radio Ink: What specific importance is Hispanic radio playing in this election?

    Jose Villafañe: Radio is still the number one media channel that connects local and national Latino communities with trusted news in our language. Our listeners are hard-working people sometimes working 6-7 days a week with multiple jobs. Whether you are a student in college, a cleaning lady, a mechanic, or an Uber driver; first, second, or third-generation Hispanic – radio is what connects you to the information world.

    Plus, we still have trusted radio hosts such as Alex Lucas who can entertain and educate their audience through facts and information. Alex does his research and understands our Latino community better than any cable news outlet or television company that is not tuned in to our community.

    Radio Ink: Both President Biden and Former President Trump are making radio stops a priority, especially against other mediums – why do you think that is?

    Jose Villafañe: That’s easy – because radio has the most reach. A large percentage of radio listeners are employed and are looking to better themselves and their families in this country. Because radio is live, it can create fast results for candidates. Radio can shift the mindset of a voter instantly with the right message.

    Radio Ink: What response do you see from these visits in the Hispanic community?

    Jose Villafañe: To be honest, Democrats have counted on the Hispanic vote and have taken it for granted. We identify and have values with each party. The response from our community can go either way depending on what is going on in the world. The mindset of the voter and what he hears on how that candidate is going to do to help them get closer to the “American Dream” and how they will help their families. I think right now it’s 50/50. Any party could win the Hispanic vote.

    Radio Ink: Do you expect this behavior and the use of radio as a platform by major candidates to hold, increase, or decrease the closer we get to the election?

    Jose Villafañe: I can’t really answer that today, but if I had to guess based on my 25 years of experience in media, I say it will HOLD. Candidates and parties talk about the importance of radio and the Hispanic community, but I haven’t seen their investment compare to TV or digital.

    Radio Ink: Is this attention translating into revenue, political or otherwise?

    Jose Villafañe: Not yet; we are having conversations with both parties and with political agencies and radio still behind in regards to their investments. I simply don’t understand.

    It’s the easy and right choice to invest in radio but agencies and candidates always lean toward what they’ve done in the past. They don’t want to deviate, but meanwhile, they have the “perfect weapon” – radio. Radio can be the solution to hit their voters and change the outcome of an election. I think they wait until it’s too late or invest too little to move the needle. If they would shift five to eight percent of all television and digital dollars to radio earlier in the race, they might have better results when the votes are counted.


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