Bad Bunny and Joe Biden – the world-renowned rapper and former vice president – are two names not normally associated with one another.
But starting Friday, the Puerto Rican rapper, whose real name is Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, and Alejandro Fernandez, a popular Mexican singer, are lending their star wattage and strains from their recent hits to Biden’s White House bid.
The new ads are tailor-made for Puerto Rican and Mexican audiences in three key swing states and are part of a $26 million advertising buy this week that included a two-minute message that aired on national broadcast networks Friday night during coverage of the Republican National Convention.
The Spanish-language advertising comes as recent polling shows Biden maintaining a wide lead over President Trump among Latino voters nationwide – but a with a narrower advantage in several swing states. Recent CBS News polling show that in Texas and Florida, Biden has about the same level of Latino support as Hillary Clinton did in the 2016 election. In Arizona, Biden’s current support is a bit higher than Clinton’s was in 2016, which could give Biden an edge there.
To boost his support, Biden is set to air a new TV and digital ad set to strains of “Pero Ya No” – “But Not Anymore” – a global hit single from Bad Bunny’s February album, “YHLQMDLG.”
“I loved you before, but not anymore / I liked you, but not anymore / I was for you, but not anymore / Hey, but not anymore, hey, but not anymore.”
Biden campaign aides say the message is aimed at Latino voters who might have supported Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, or supported him in the years since, but are unwilling to do so again. The ad features footage of the president’s visit to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria – the site of him tossing rolls of paper towels to island residents still infuriates many Latinos nationwide as a patronizing and baldly political gesture.
The new message is airing in Florida and Pennsylvania, two states with critical Puerto Rican voting blocs that have tipped the scales for Democratic candidates in the past. In Central Florida, Puerto Rican voters situated between Tampa and Orlando are particularly influential in local and statewide elections. In Pennsylvania, Democrats have spent the last several cycles mobilizing them along the “222 corridor” — a stretch that runs along a state highway from Bethlehem through northern neighborhoods of Philadelphia and south towards Lancaster. The region is a magnet for Puerto Ricans seeking manufacturing and farming jobs and a lower cost of living.
In Arizona, the Biden team is airing a new 30-second television spot with music by Fernandez and his recent hit, “Decepciones.”
Lyrics from the song deliver a message similar to Bad Bunny’s: “I don’t miss you anymore, you hurt me from time to time. … And if we’re talking about disappointments, I think yours has been the most hurtful.”
The music is juxtaposed against video of President Trump discussing U.S.-Mexico border security and his July 2015 comments about undocumented immigrants that he made on the day he launched his presidential bid.
Fernandez is Mexican and his music is far more popular in Arizona, a state where the Latino population is dominated by multigenerational Mexican-American families and more recent immigrants. His father, Mexican “ranchero” star Vicente Fernandez, campaigned for Clinton in 2016 and appeared at rallies she held in western states.
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