The 2012 presidential election will most certainly be won or lost based on American voters' perception of the economy and which candidate is the more trusted steward to lead the country to sturdier economic ground.
But it will also be about the country's rapidly evolving demographics.
One week after Mitt Romney unveiled the leadership of his campaign's Hispanic outreach, two pro-Obama groups are launching a major offensive aimed at defining Romney in a negative light to U.S. Hispanics.
The pro-Obama super PAC, Priorities USA, and the Service Employees International Union are using Romney's own words from the 2011-2012 Republican nomination season in a new round of television and radio ads going up today and running through the summer in Florida, Colorado and Nevada, three critical battleground states where Hispanic voters will have a major impact on the outcome. The groups are spending $4 million on the ad campaign.
The Spanish language ads utilize some of Romney's more awkward moments on the stump such as when he joked about being unemployed and when he expressed his love for firing people.
"If elected President, Mitt Romney's policies would be devastating to Latino families. In a Romney administration, the tax burden would shift onto middle class families in order to protect corporations and the wealthiest Americans," said Paul Begala, senior adviser for Priorities USA Action.
The Romney campaign has argued both in public statements and advertising that its message to the Latino community is the same message to the broader electorate that Romney is best equipped for fixing the country's economic ills in the light of President Obama's failure to do so.
The SEIU and Obama super PAC ads are geared directly towards undermining that argument.
In 2008, Hispanics made up 13 percent of the voters in Colorado, 14 percent in Florida and 15 percent in Nevada. President Obama bested John McCain by significant margins (overwhelmingly so in Nevada) among Hispanic voters in each of those three states.
Of course, it is quite clear that Romney will not be the only candidate in the race who will have his own words haunting him in his opponents' advertising. After President Obama's gaffe on Friday when he said the private sector is "doing fine," you can be certain those words will be featured in an ad coming to a TV screen near you before too long.