|Young Cuban Americans picketed Clinton & protested Cuban embassy opening (2015)|
This is a dangerous lie for aspiring politicians whose policy positions are driven by dodgy polls. The political graveyard is littered with those who bought into that lie. Even pollsters that try to shape questions to favor the Obama Cuba policy in rigged polls cannot engineer majority support from Cuban American voters.
The latest victim was Charlie Crist in 2014 who lost a narrowly to unpopular Florida governor Rick Scott. This was because the forces advocating for the end of economic sanctions on the Castro dictatorship produced push polls that convinced candidate Charlie Crist in his run for governor of Florida to support ending the embargo and announce that he planned to go to Cuba. As reality hit and his numbers dropped the trip was put off but in the end Crist lost despite running against the unpopular incumbent Rick Scott in a tight race because of the Cuban vote.
In the Republican primary in Florida the two candidates loudly rejecting the Obama administration's Cuba policy got 75% of the Cuban-American vote to Donald Trump's 18%. Cuban American voters have rejected the Obama administration's failed Cuba policy.
Donald Trump's candidacy poses a threat to continued Cuban-American support for the Republican Party, and despite conventional wisdom, it is not due to his anti-immigration stand. Both Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz tried to out trump Trump on being tough on immigration and together got 75% of the Cuban vote to Trump's 18%. Current polls in Miami-Dade place Trump ahead of Clinton among Cuban Americans by 37% to 31% which is extremely low compared to previous elections. This is also part of the reason that Clinton is ahead in South Florida by 27 points. If Trump's Cuba policy contrasted with Clinton's support of Obama's Cuba policy he would likely expand that lead among Cuban Americans to 56% to 31%. This is based on data from Scott vs Crist in 2014 where the pro-engagement issue got 5% who would vote on it versus 24% who would not vote for a candidate who supported engagement with the Castro regime. This could make a different in narrowing Clinton's lead in Miami-Dade and could tip the balance for the GOP candidate.
This is because Donald Trump has publicly declared that he supports Obama's disastrous Cuba policy which is extremely unpopular with Cuban-Americans, and especially the vast majority of those who are Republicans. Unfortunately, a small cohort of wealthy Cuban-American businessmen who do not represent the majority are peddling a different message that will hurt Mr. Trump's prospects in Florida.
|Young Cubans protesting U.S. Embassy opening in Cuba|
However, there are more important considerations than electoral ones, such as is this new Cuba policy good for America?
How is it good for Americans to have trade with Cuba drop from $711.5 million in 2008 under the Bush administration with sanctions that protected U.S. taxpayers from picking up the tab to 2015 under the Obama administration when trade dropped to $180.3 million in 2015 and in January 2016 opened up financing for the notorious deadbeat nation?
How is this good for America?