Both the Democrats and Republicans feel they have a good shot at capturing the seat abandoned in Nevada by scandal-plagued former Senator John Ensign (R-NV). The contest pits former Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV), who was appointed to complete Ensign’s term, against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-NV). Both national senatorial campaign committees are going to work on a key constituency – Hispanics – and they’re using radio to do it.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is using shorthand in its campaign, which includes the endorsement of Berkley. Rather than use a lot of words to discuss positions taken by Heller that are wildly unpopular among the Hispanic community, DSCC is simply conjuring up memories of the Republican’s last senatorial candidate, Sharron Angle, who lost decisively to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) in what for a time was expected to be a close race but turned out not to be.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee had earlier been out on Hispanic radio taking advantage of the tiff between the Obama administration and the Catholic Church over contraceptive policy, hoping it would play well with the many Catholics in the Hispanic segment of the population.
Nevada has joined the ranks of the nation’s swing states, and with Hispanics making up 14% of the population, a decisive victory within that demo could have a major impact on the senatorial race. The two candidates are said to be neck-and-neck at the moment.
RBR-TVBR observation: Another great political use for radio. Even though it’s way early, it’s good to get your message out early and often, particularly if you’re looking to encourage voter registration. And radio allows a lot of repetitions at an affordable price.