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Univision and Telemundo, Take 2: What About Puerto Rico

Mostly overlooked by the mainstream networks tonight is Puerto Rico’s gubernatorial election, which has nevertheless gotten the attention of both Telemundo and Univision. The networks tonight aired special segments covering the island’s gubernatorial race. At 6:48 pm (ET) Telemundo called Luis G. Fortuño, from the New Progressive Party, as winner of the gubernatorial race in Puerto Rico, making him the island’s first Republican governor since 1968.

Both Univision and Telemundo kick off their special Election Night coverage at 7:00 PM (ET) –expected to go on until approximately 3:00 am (ET). Univision anchors María Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos invite viewers to take active part in tonight’s coverage via text messaging, online and even via Skype. Both anchor at 7:04 call Vermont, with its three electoral votes, as a “virtual” win for Obama.

Univision reporter Martín Berlanga tonight was put in charge of the network’s digital electoral map (a first) showing not only the states and which way they lean, but highlighting those favored by the Hispanic electorate. Peruvian-native pollster and politica analyst Sergio Bendixen is in the studio analyzing the so-called “punishment vote” by Hispanics in states such as Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida. Bendixen compares this to what tends to happen in Latin America. “Hispanics will punish Republicans for their demagogy in the subject of immigration,” Bendixen. Henry Cisneros, a former Univision director turned-business owner, is also a guest.

In Telemundo, meanwhile, news anchor Pedro Sevcec and Al Rojo Vivo anchor María Celeste Arrarás host the network’s special coverage today. Both stress how Latinos might decide tonight’s outcome.

By Laura Martinez, Freelance Contributor