Democrats to spend $1 million on ads in Spanish

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Hoping to turn out Spanish-speaking voters and hold back emboldened Republicans, Democrats on Thursday announced they would spend $1 million in television, radio and online ads to motivate key members of their party’s coalition.

The Democratic National Committee announced that Spanish-language ads would feature President Barack Obama telling voters to stand with his party as it tries to defend majorities in the House and Senate. The party said the ad effort is its largest in Spanish-language paid media and comes as Obama was set to campaign in California and Nevada, both states with large Hispanic populations.

“This is Barack Obama,” Obama says in Spanish during one radio ad. “I need you by my side. Help me defend what we started. This November 2, raise your voice. And together we’ll continue to move forward.”

The ad also says the GOP alternative would be “a return to the past.”

“To when credit cards and mortgages included hidden fees, and the insurance companies discriminated against who they wanted,” an announcer says. “For our families and for our country, we can’t afford to go back to the past. We’ve worked too hard, and there is too much left to do.”

The television ad features cinematic images of the president as the narrator says “Barack Obama and the Democrats have never backed away from taking on the problems of our nation,” then lists work on the economy, jobs and schools.

“We can’t let this country fall backwards because the rest of us didn’t care enough to fight,” Obama says in a clip from his Sept. 28 speech in Madison, Wis.

Republicans need to win 40 seats to regain the House majority they lost four years ago. Some Democratic officials acknowledge that their losses could well exceed that.

To gain the Senate majority, Republicans must hold all 18 of their seats on this year’s ballots while picking up 10 of the 19 Democratic seats.

“Hispanic voters are not only critically important to Democrats’ success this fall, but also to our country’s future,” said DNC Chairman Tim Kaine. “We’re reaching out to the Hispanic community because we believe that by working together we can ensure Democratic victories this fall.”

Those victories may well hinge on the Hispanic vote.

In California, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer remains in a tight race in California and has spent much time courting Hispanic voters, who make up one-fifth of the electorate.

And in Nevada, tea party Republican nominee Sharron Angle is in a fierce race against Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that could hinge on the state’s Hispanics, who make up more than 25 percent of the state’s voters.

Obama was visiting both states on a four-state swing that started on Wednesday.