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Cuban-Americans Flipped to Obama? Not Quite
Pajamas Media ^ | 11/18/2012 | Henry Gomez

Posted on 11/19/2012 9:26:32 AM PST by SeekAndFind

This election cycle was remarkable in the degree to which we were subjected to analysis of the polls. In particular, conservatives like me believed the pollsters had it wrong when they showed a likely voter mix that resembled 2008. We were wrong; the pollsters were largely right. The Democrats turned out in enough numbers to negate the advantage Romney had with independents.

In the immediate aftermath of Mitt Romney’s defeat, an unprecedented amount of scrutiny was focused on the Cuban-American population of south Florida. Some exit polls claimed [1] Romney lost the historically reliable Cuban vote for the GOP, and others showed a small margin in favor of Romney.

The Cuban-American vote is important because it has been a Republican island in the sea of blue that is the map of south Florida. In fact, it has been important enough to perhaps swing an entire presidential election [2]. Many observers believe an angry Cuban-American bloc turned against Vice President Al Gore because of President Clinton’s handling of the Elian Gonzalez case. George W. Bush won Florida by only 537 votes, and exit polls show Gore did worse with Cuban-Americans in 2000 than Clinton did in 1996. It’s not a stretch to think that at least 269 Cubans registered a protest vote in favor of Bush or voted for Bush but wouldn’t have voted at all if not for Elian.

Despite a Republican-dominated state legislature and a Republican governor, the state has gone for Obama twice, though the spread in 2012 contracted to .9% from 2.5% in 2008. So as we look forward, we can see that Cuban-Americans may once again have a disproportionate influence in choosing a president in 2016.

The exit polls showing a close contest between Obama and Romney among Cuban-Americans are in contrast to polls immediately before the election that showed the Cuban vote was firmly in Romney’s camp. Professor Eduardo Gamarra of Florida International University fielded one such poll [3], and had this to say of his findings:

“You keep hearing about a liberalization of the vote with younger, second-generation Cubans. But the polls are not showing it,” Gamarra said. “Young Cubans are starting to look more Republican than their parents.”

So when the question of who won the Cuban vote in 2012 arises, which poll are we to believe? There’s an old saw that says the only important poll is the one taken on Election Day, so I’ve gone to the actual election results at the precinct level to see which polls were closer to the truth. There’s quite a bit of extrapolating that has to be done, but I think you’ll see it’s pretty straightforward.

The Census Bureau reports Hispanic population at the zip code level (actually zip code Tabulation Areas). They also offer granularity about Hispanics in measured areas such as, in this case, the percent of the population who are Cuban in background. So I proceeded to find the top ten proportionately Cuban zip codes in Miami-Dade County according to the Census. The logic is that the closer to 100% Cubans represent in an area, the more pure of a read we’ll get as to how Cubans voted.

I then obtained a list of Miami-Dade County’s precincts from the Elections Department and isolated the ones located in the 10 Cuban zip codes; there are 111 of them.

When aggregated, Mitt Romney won these 111 precincts 58.5% to 41%. This is in a county Obama won 67.6% to 37.9%.

According to the Census, the population of these 10 zip codes is 92% Hispanic and 70.4% Cuban Hispanics. It can be easily argued that non-Cuban Hispanics brought down Mitt Romney’s numbers in these precincts, since non-Cubans statewide (and nationwide for that matter) went for Obama in a big way. We can deduce therefore that 58.5% is a floor or the minimum amount of support that Romney got from Cubans in these zip codes.

Note that there are precincts in Miami-Dade (with significant numbers of registered voters), such as precinct 390 in the very Cuban Miami Lakes area, that went as high as 74% voting for Romney. Without doing an extraordinary amount of math, one can see that true Cuban support for Romney probably was somewhere in the mid to low 60s, a clear win for the Republican but somewhat less than other GOP candidates in the past. I did a similar analysis [4] four years ago and estimated McCain’s support to be just shy of 70% among Cuban-Americans.

Then there’s the work of real political scientists [5] like Dr. Dario Moreno and Dr. Kevin Hill of Florida International University. They conducted “an ecological regression of large Cuban precincts in Miami-Dade County and found that the Cuban-Americans voted for Romney 58% to 42%. This is very close to my “floor” for Romney.

So the news appears mixed. Clearly Romney won among Cuban-Americans, but apparently with a less dominating margin than previous GOP candidates. The deterioration of support probably wasn’t enough to make a difference in Florida, but should be troubling to the Republican Party.

Romney campaigned hard in south Florida, but I don’t think he ever connected well with many Cuban voters. In 2007 he made an embarrassing gaffe [6] while addressing Cuban-Americans, inadvertently using a communist slogan favored by Fidel. Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan, was also once opposed to the embargo based on a libertarian argument that free trade frees people (an argument that Cubans might agree with, except for the fact that they know trade with Cuba is not free since the government dominates 90% of the economy in that country). Add Romney’s ground game troubles, and perhaps we can explain some of the fall-off.

Can Florida Cubans return to previous levels of support for GOP presidential candidates? I think so, particularly if Marco Rubio is at the top of ticket. In the same 111 precincts in which Romney obtained 58.5% of the vote, Rubio got 65% in his 2010 Senate run.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: cubanamericans; florida; romney

1 posted on 11/19/2012 9:26:35 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind; Pelham

Yes...nice parsing Gomez but 20-30 years ago one would not even need to wonder about it.

Back then Cubans voted like Mississippi whites.

Something has definitely changed and it has to be younger voters.

And those zip codes he looks at where the vote looked like 58% ...not all that high actually...are zips where the Cubans tend to be older first or second generation Cubans here..I’m guessing he’s looking at zips along 8th st SW from Tamiami to Downtown

younger Cubans who went to college and maybe earn more have tended to live in less Cuban areas further out around folks from everywhere.

Hispanics were 10% of the vote this election...a bit less than their actual numbers

why the GOP goofballs think they have to turn into the kiss hispanic ass party beats me...nothing they can do short of become the giveaway party like the democrats and treat whites like enemies will do much good and remember any you turn is only 1/10th of that number in general population vote return

So if we become the party that approves of 55% illegitimate birth rate, rampant corruption of our political culture, treat whites and the history of America as a long tradtition of the oppression of non whites ...which gives them a great excuse for being laggards civilization wise, give them special treatment and victim status, and just simply throw freebies their way and have whitey pay for it.

If we do all that they will like us and we can be the Sally Fields political party.

No thanks...and as usual GOP and way too many freepers are weak and naive idiots.

Does anyone here even realize that dark Hispanics...that is most of them and the ones more likely to vote anti white...either Negroid or Amerindian latinos or mixed...they will view Saint Marco and his lovely very blonde Colombiana wifey as just crackers with last names ending in vowels.

The elite Cubans who first came here are arguiably the whitest latinos in the New World..them and some Argentinians

they came from Canary Islands and Galicia (Celts) mainly

whereas most of the latinos we have problems with came via Berengia or as slaves from Tropical Africa..hence it’s racial identity more than simply culture...the benign little word all favor

it’s hopeless..white Americans gave away their balls years ago

(former Miami resident who shucks actually knew some Cubans and Colombians ..even went to 2506 BBQs)

dummies here..”what’s a 2506 that KKK code?”

it really is hopeless..don’t even know why I bother

2 posted on 11/19/2012 9:51:58 AM PST by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: wardaddy

My new son-in-law’s parents are Cuban-American refugees living in Miami. They are highly successful professionals and the father is a small business owner of about 30 years. They remain staunch Catholics and Republican voters.

My son-in-law is their youngest child and is 35. Don’t know if that qualifies as a younger voter but he, his older brother, and their friends are all Libertarians. As far as I know they did not vote at all in this last election. They’ve expressed strong distrust of both Democrats and Republicans believing the parties are more alike than different. Can’t say how significant this is regarding young Cuban Americans as a group but it is another view.

3 posted on 11/19/2012 10:06:25 AM PST by An American In Dairyland
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To: An American In Dairyland

When I lived in Miami all the Cubans I knew loved Reagan.

Colombians were fairly rightwing too....Nicas and Guats and Salvadorans

but I knew the whiter property folks who had been victims of the brown insurgencies and lost land or holding s that had been in their families for centuries

and they knew what time it was

now...we are gonna learn what they already know

I was married to a Brasilian (ex...gorgeous but a cat on acid)...they as rule are less culturally conservative...and there are more of them now in Florida and it hurts

anyhow...latinos are not all the same but the leftist ones with a broken culture are the vast majority

Cubans are like Jews...they only matter(vote wise) in South Florida..and that is diminishing for both

the real meat is the Mexicans and it’s a long shot...their culture is almost as destructive stats wise as tropical african culture here...out of wedlock and crime and vote fradu etc

i know some old Seguin type Texicans are as conservative as a west Texas farmer but sadly they are now throwbacks and not many in numbers (Bush never got that 40%...that was a rove lie)

*after Southern gals, Colombian are my favorite...I will give Rubio that

4 posted on 11/19/2012 10:22:43 AM PST by wardaddy (wanna know how my kin felt during Reconstruction in Mississippi, you fixin to find out firsthand)
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To: An American In Dairyland
Don’t know if that qualifies as a younger voter but he, his older brother, and their friends are all Libertarians.

That is how the left is destroying conservatism, in the past those people would have been conservatives, but the left's control of education and culture has turned them into liberals, except for taxes and economics.

Today you have the left, then the libertarian liberals who share economic interests with the GOP, and then conservatives in the true American tradition, before the 1960s.

5 posted on 11/19/2012 10:31:37 AM PST by ansel12 (The only Senate seat GOP pick up was the Palin endorsed Deb Fischer’s successful run in Nebraska)
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To: SeekAndFind
I then obtained a list of Miami-Dade County’s precincts from the Elections Department and isolated the ones located in the 10 Cuban zip codes; there are 111 of them.

Is there anyone but me offended by this? "Cuban" zip codes in America? Even the "conservatives" have fallen into the trap of the left.

The U.S. are done.

6 posted on 11/19/2012 10:38:53 AM PST by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: wardaddy

I have run into some of these Cuban young people. Some are good conservatives, and sadly some are ignorant kooks.

The ignorant kooks have been poisoned by “higher education”.

7 posted on 11/19/2012 10:57:57 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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To: SeekAndFind; Joe Brower; seekthetruth

Florida news. This does make me feel a bit better.

8 posted on 11/19/2012 11:05:38 AM PST by SoFloFreeper
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