When It Comes To Online Hispanics, The Internet Is Blue

  • by , Columnist, July 12, 2012

It is no secret that the Latino vote will have a major impact on the 2012 presidential election. Given this reality, I thought it would be interesting to see how each presidential candidate is addressing Hispanics online. What I found was consistent with Hispanics’ preferences for the president of the United States: when comes to choosing the candidates’ websites, Hispanics online overwhelmingly prefer over

Romney is playing catch-up online

While en español has been around for some time, Mitt Romney launched a Spanish version of his website July 11. The site features a video of his son introducing him in Spanish (his son was a missionary in Chile) and information about his newly announced Hispanic steering committee. You can also read his bio, blog, info-graphics, videos and sign up to donate and volunteer in Spanish.



The president offers many of the same features. follows Hispanic online best practices by including an “Español” link on the top right of his campaign website, while Romney’s Spanish site can be accessed from the top left. 

Overall, Spanish-speaking voters should be relatively pleased with the Spanish language experience on both websites. That said, neither of the websites are proactively engaging with online Spanish speakers via social or mobile channels. This is important to note because studies show that Hispanics are highly engaged social and mobile users. So it's a lost opportunity for both candidates.

Hispanic traffic to dwarfs that of

Despite being equivalent from a Spanish content perspective, has nearly as many Hispanic visitors as has total visitors. According to comScore, in June 2012, 509,000 Hispanics visited By contrast, of the 537,000 total visitors to, only 44,000 were Hispanic. What’s more, Hispanic traffic to has surged 90% since January of this year while has seen a drop in Hispanic traffic of 40%.

It is true that Obama has an advantage because his Spanish site has been around longer than Romney’s so let’s put things in more relative terms. Today the U.S. Hispanic online market represents about 15% of the total U.S. market. Currently, 15% of’s traffic is Hispanic, in line with the U.S. market, while only 8% of’s traffic is Hispanics. This signals that the governor has some catching up to do and should look at the demographics of his Hispanic site visitors for some ideas on where to focus.

Compared to Hispanic visitors to, Hispanic visitors to Romney’s site represent a much smaller segment of the Hispanic population because they are more likely to:

  • Be over 65 years of age
  • Earn over $100,000
  • Reside in the south central U.S.
  • Prefer English

Hispanics who are young, less affluent, concentrated in major metro areas and bilingual represent a much bigger segment and reaching them online will be critical for to bridge the gap with in terms of Hispanic traffic.

Mitt Romney still has time to engage Hispanics online

Regardless of where he stands on the issues, Romney has a good opportunity to reach out to Hispanics online. His website features good information in Spanish, including videos and policy stands. Now it’s just a matter of marketing it to online Hispanics, and I would start with social media and mobile tactics. 

If Romney can successfully reach online Hispanics and they connect with his message, perhaps he can shift the Internet to red.

1 comment about "When It Comes To Online Hispanics, The Internet Is Blue ".
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  1. Sebastian Aroca from Hispanic Market Advisors, July 12, 2012 at 10:12 a.m.

    Thank you Lee for this article. Good timing for being election year. I think the best cost-effective strategy that can yield natural/organic results (for either party) is to listen to Hispanic constituents emphatically and offer solutions to their issues. I agree engaging in social media platforms is key. The White House invited a group of Latino Mom Bloggers a couple of months ago to listen to the Latino voices. I thought this was a very smart move. For Mitt Romney, creating a website and videos in Spanish indicating where his policy stands is a good start. But I'd be keenly interested to learn what Mitt is doing beyond those initial steps to engage the Hispanic audience in a dialog that advances the group's agenda...

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