Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Cuban American vote in the 2016 Presidential Elections: Just the facts please.

'Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Update: Accused of being sloppy here and reviewed this blog entry to tighten things up a bit and provide some more links as back up. Appreciate critiques because it is a way to learn.

Update #2 11/18/16: Both Capitol Hill Cubans and Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation shared data on actual votes counted in 30+ precincts with the highest concentration of Cubans in Miami - Dade Country and found on average that they voted 58% for Donald J. Trump in the 2016 general election.

National press has recognized that Cuban Americans played a decisive role in Florida going Republican in the 2016 Presidential election. The Pew Research Center that is a nonpartisan, non-advocacy organization that gathers data and conducts analysis on the issues looked at exit polls with 3,997 respondents and found that 54% to 41% Cuban Americans voted for Trump and Hillary respectively.

These results were predictable to close observers of the Cuban American scene in South Florida. In May of 2016 I predicted that if Mr. Trump contrasted himself from Secretary Clinton and President Obama that the New York businessman would win 56% of the Cuban American vote.

The Obama Cuba policy had deeply outraged Cuban Americans and the repeated unilateral concessions in an environment where human rights on the island are deteriorating led to a profound rejection of the policy.

Furthermore that this policy gave a green light to discrimination of Cuban Americans by U.S. corporations to satisfy the demands of their new business partners, the Castro dictatorship provoked protests and law suits in 2016.

Nevertheless we find the usual crowd that produce misleading polls that may have cost Secretary Hillary Clinton the White House continue to double down using partisan push polls to try and blot out the sun with their thumb.

Recalling another Democratic U.S. Senator for the State of New York, Daniel Patrick Moynihan let me make a plea for a civil discourse and to agree on the facts in evidence. Otherwise there is a danger of falling into historical negationism that serves no one. 

It was not only President Elect Donald Trump who benefited from opposition to Obama's Cuba policy but so did Senator Marco Rubio and Congressional candidates in South Florida in all the races where there was a contrast on Cuba policy between the two candidates.  

The argument I made and am making is that if President Elect Trump had not shifted his position on US - Cuba policy to contrast himself from President Obama and Secretary Clinton he would have remained in the 33 -37% range and possibly even lose the Cuban American vote to Hillary Clinton and that in a tight statewide Florida race it would have cost him the win. This is what happened with the Chinese American vote when Republicans abandoned the anti-communist issue on China. It wasn't the immigration issue that was hurting him with Cuban Americans.

The math below is taken from a Free Cuba Foundation entry and is added to this blog update to strengthen the case made above:

 If as some claim 570,878 Cuban Americans voted in the 2016 election and Mr. Trump saw a 21 point shift in support that correlates with his announced change in Cuba policy this translated to 119,884 additional votes. A total of  308,274 Cuban Americans voted for Mr. Donald Trump. Now Mauricio Claver-Carone makes the case that the actual percentage maybe above 60%.

Not only does that overall number increase to 342,527 but also the number of Cuban Americans that switched their vote in favor of the New York businessman after he rejected Obama's Cuba policy is also higher at 154,137 votes.

Considering that President Elect Trump's margin of victory over Hillary Clinton in Florida was just 119,970 votes and the argument is not just that Cuban Americans were critical to the New York businessman's victory but that the dramatic increase in support was linked to U.S. Cuba policy and its rejection by a large number of Cuban American voters according to exit polls. At the low range the shift in that vote alone, possibly Cuba policy single issue voters, was at a minimum 86 votes short of providing the margin for taking Florida or at the higher end exceeded it by 34,167 votes.

Latino Decisions Poll being cited to counter election day exit polls is a push poll.

The Latino Decisions poll used by those making the claim that Cuban Americans did not impact on Secretary Clinton's prospects is problematic for a number of reasons such as: it being sponsored by the National Council of La Raza that has a vested interest in pushing a particular narrative, it is a push poll with questions that provide information that would negatively impact the Latino vote for Republicans and finally there are no questions were asked about Obama's Cuba policy and how it would impact the vote. 

According to the online dictionary push polls are "a seemingly unbiased telephone survey that is actually conducted by supporters of a particular candidate and disseminates negative information about an opponent." This is precisely what Latino Decisions had done with the poll being used to argue that the exit polls are wrong.

Some examples of push poll questions in their survery are provided above and can be clicked on the image to read the full text where Latino Decisions asked two back to back questions (42 and 43) that highlight President Obama's 2012 executive order on immigration providing "undocumented youth" with legal work permits and temporary relief from deportation and then follow it up with how GOP office holders sued the Obama Administration to stop some of these policies.

On question 48 Latino Decisions asked if the person agreed with the following statement: "The Republican Party has now become so anti-immigrant, and anti-Latino that it would be hard for me to consider supporting them in the future." No mention that the U.S. President who has deported the most immigrants is President Barack Obama.

Welcome all those who would like to continue to engage in a fact based argument without ad hominem attacks on the Cuban American vote in the 2016 election. 

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