Monday, November 14, 2016

Latino vote


In the aftermath of last Tuesday's white-lash, one of the hardy perennials of dispute in recent Democratic losses is back. Was or wasn't the Latino vote much smaller and less for Clinton than so many had expected?

Pew reports:

Hillary Clinton won 65% of Latino voters on Tuesday, according to National Election Pool exit poll data, a level of Democratic support similar to 2008, when 67% of Hispanics backed Barack Obama. However, Clinton’s share of the Latino vote was lower than in 2012, when 71% of Latinos voted to reelect Obama.

While Clinton underperformed among Latinos compared with 2012, Republican Donald Trump won 29% of the Latino vote, a similar share to 2012, when Mitt Romney won 27%, and to 2008, when John McCain won 31%, according to exit polls.

Meanwhile, the polling group Latino Decisions calls, figuratively, bullshit!

Matt Barreto, UCLA Professor of Political Science and Chicano Studies, and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, presented the results of the Latino Decisions Election Eve poll. The key finding: Latinos backed Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a 78-19% margin.

As pointed out in the presentation, the Latino Decisions finding on national presidential margin is consistent with high-quality, large-sample, bilingual polls carried out by a number of groups in recent months. ... Further, Barreto pointed to an examination of the actual election results from counties and precincts which are majority Latino show higher rates of Latino voter turnout in 2016, and show Clinton winning roughly 80% of the Latino vote.

Barreto contends that the exit polls routinely choose precincts to survey that do not include adequate numbers of Latinos to generate accurate estimates and consequently cannot.

This is all reminiscent of 2004, when exit polls suggested that 40 percent of Latino voters went for George W. Bush. Latino researchers contested that margin then, as they contest exit poll estimates now.

Long experience getting out Latino voters makes me lean toward the Latino Decisions view. Pollsters aren't going to get accurate measures without linguistically and culturally appropriate interviewers. As is true in all polling, quality is expensive. So I look at lowball findings like Pew's with a lot of skepticism. Is our repeated mystification about Latino polling and voting a byproduct of our as-yet-incomplete assimilation of the legitimacy of Latino citizenship in a U.S. culture more multifaceted than we realize?

1 comment:

Hattie said...

And not to forget: She won the popular vote.

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