“That was the final straw. She was depicting me as a gang member. I served seven years in the Marine Corps.”
- Gilberto Ramirez, a Reno concrete worker and first-time voter quoted in the Las Vegas Sun regarding defeated Senate candidate Sharron Angle's campaign ads
The Sun and various other news outlets have reported on just how critically decisive the Latino vote was in the re-election of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid captured the support of 90 percent of Nevada's Latino voters, who turned out in record numbers - some, like recently-naturalized citizen Ramirez, incensed by a series of much-criticized campaign ads from Reid's Republican opponent Sharron Angle.
Perhaps the Angle ad that drew the most ire was one called "The Wave," in which images of young Latino-looking men appeared with a voiceover that began: “Waves of illegal aliens streaming across our border, joining violent gangs, forcing families to live in fear...”
The Sun story referred to the record Latino voter turnout as a "likely backlash to an ad aired by a Republican operative explicitly telling Hispanics not to vote, as well as inflammatory ads from Angle’s campaign that used images of Hispanic youth dressed as gang members."
For future campaign ad directors, food for thought.