How much money is actually behind Hispanic ads?

Both President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney have released multiple rounds of Spanish-language ads this cycle. Obama needs to hold his huge lead with Hispanic voters to win, while Romney hopes to cut into that support.

But according to numbers provided by a Republican media buyer, Obama is investing far more than Romney in Spanish ads.

From the beginning of May through Wednesday, July 11, Obama’s campaign has spent more than $3 million on Spanish-language ads, mostly in Florida and Nevada.

The president’s Spanish-language effort has also been supported by the super PAC Priorities USA Action, which has put a couple of hundred thousand dollars into radio ads in those two states, and by the Service Employees International Union, which has put close to $800,000 behind ads in Colorado, Florida and Nevada.

Priorities USA Action and the SEIU are currently teaming up for what will ultimately be a $4 million Spanish-language ad campaign. A recent ad described Romney as “a person without feelings.”

The Republican, meanwhile, is running his own ads in Spanish — but not many of them. Since the start of May, he’s spent about half a million dollars scattered between Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio. Curiously, none of that money went to Florida. His super PAC, Restore Our Future, is not running any Spanish-language ads.

“Obama’s failed policies have hurt Hispanics, who are facing a higher-than-national-average unemployment rate,” said Romney spokeswoman Valentina Weis. “No amount of TV commercials will change those facts. The Romney campaign has issued 8 Spanish-language ads to-date and will continue reaching out to Hispanics.”

There’s plenty of time for Romney to expand his media campaign. But for now at least, most Spanish-speaking voters in two key swing states are only hearing from one side.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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