From NBC's Katie Mulhall and Alex Wall
The Democratic National Committee announced today that it will team up with the Obama campaign for an unprecedented $20 million effort to organize and mobilize Latino voters. Frank Sanchez, the chairman of the campaign's National Hispanic Leadership Council, and DNC Vice Chair Linda Chavez-Thompson called the initiative an "historic commitment" on a conference call this afternoon.
Sanchez noted that in 2004, according to findings by the Johns Hopkins Hispanic Voter Project, both presidential campaigns spent a combined $8.7 million on Latino-voter outreach. He used this figure to put the $20 million the Obama campaign and the DNC have committed into perspective.
Besides money, another key difference between this effort and past ones in 2000 and 2004 is just how early this year's outreach has started. "I can't remember any campaign starting this early," Sanchez said. "I can't remember this amount of resource both in terms of money and in terms of people power."
"It's nice to have the money. However, we're talking about Latinos begging for the opportunity to be involved," Chavez-Thompson added. "Giving Latinos the opportunity to say 'we will not be ignored', I think that's what Sen. Obama is telling us. He wants us to be at the table, he wants us to be involved."