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Here's The Impact Of American Political Ads In Spanish

New research is offering us a look into how electoral support is affected by Spanish ads.
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Here's The Impact Of American Political Ads In Spanish

When politicians look to broaden their bases, making an ad in a different language, like Spanish, is one strategy to do so.

One of the first Spanish-language political ads in the U.S. featured Jackie Kennedy as she attempted to lure in voters on behalf of her husband. 

The Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. has grown substantially since then — reaching around 40 million people in 2016.

So, do these targeted Spanish-language ads work? A recent study shows ... sort of. Researchers found in two experiments that the ads did resonate with bilingual viewers, boosting electoral support from that group by 5 percentage points. 

The researchers said the ad's content didn't matter as much as the language spoken. 

Of course, running a Spanish ad doesn't guarantee bilingual voters will turn out for a specific politician.

And for Americans who only spoke English, Spanish-language ads ended up having a negative effect on support. That was true for both Republican and Democratic voters. 

Researchers say there's still more research needed to understand why electorates respond so negatively to mistargeting.