December 31, 2000

According to a recent study conducted by the Republican National Committee, a deciding factor in the successful George W. Bush presidential campaign was the precedent-setting Hispanic vote.

It is estimated that Bush/Cheney garnered a history-making 38% of the U.S. Latino vote. Bush received 1.5 million more Latino votes than Bob Dole four years ago. In a year when more Latinos voted than ever before, Gore/Lieberman received 850,000 fewer Hispanic votes than Clinton/Gore four years before.

Now many are crediting the efforts of San Antonio-based ad agency GarciaLKS, and its partners Lionel Sosa and Luis Garcia, for the successful Hispanic crossover. The agency handled all national Hispanic advertising creative; produced the Republican National Convention opening Hispanic event and welcoming film, covered live on CNN; made strategic and positioning recommendations; and helped coordinate and write material for national and international bilingual news conferences.

"What we tried to do was illustrate Bush the man as he truly is: Accessible, kind, bilingual and sharing the same values as Latinos, such as love of family and hard work," says agency head Luis Garcia. "We Latinos want to get to know the candidates on an emotional level, and create a bond before we make our decisions."

One of the key strategies in the political advertising campaign was to use the candidate's charismatic nephew, George P. Bush, to deliver the multicultural message on air. The popular ads produced by GarciaLKS using the younger Bush garnered high national and international media coverage, and are believed to have persuaded many to vote for the Republican presidential candidate.

Combining resources, the Bush-Cheney campaign, the Republican National Committee (handled by Guerra/DeBerry), and state Republican parties spent approximately $14 million to reach Hispanic voters. George W. Bush was the first presidential candidate to have a Hispanic-owned and -focused agency working on his campaign.

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