The bulk of the political messaging on his stations—both in “paid” and “earned” media, according to Roman—has been focused on the economy, a particularly contentious topic in Nevada, with its highest-in-the-nation unemployment rate and also-high foreclosure and personal bankruptcy rates. Many of the ads consist simply of translations into Spanish of what’s aired in the English-language media. That said, the hot topic of immigration isn’t being ignored.
“Several of the [ad] messages do refer to immigration. That’s something that doesn’t come up in English-language advertising,” he observed. “And it’s on both sides.”
Roman pointed to a commercial sponsored by Nevada Hispanics, an arm of the conservative dark-money group American Principles in Action. (In June, I wrote about the launch of this group, its opaque funding, and its initial messages and the holes therein.)
“The theme of [the ad] was, ‘With friends like this, who needs enemies?’” Roman explained. “It called out Obama on his executive order [on immigration] as only a temporary solution that doesn’t in any way guarantee legal status.”
Roman predicted that by November 6, political advertisers of all shades will have spent “well over $3 million” on his stations. That’s more than double the spending in 2008.
It’s an open question whether or how the messaging deluge will influence Nevadans’ Election Day decisions. Meantime, Roman is looking to have a more direct influence, championing the Univision network’s “Ya es hora”—in English, “Now’s the time”—campaign encouraging Hispanics to become US citizens, register to vote, and get engaged in the political process.
“Every group of people has something to contribute,” he told me, his voice cracking with emotion. “I’ve seen how we’ve contributed to the greater good of this republic. I think if we are part of the conversation, if we put our two cents in to determine the road that our country takes, I think that we’ll be better for it.”