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