A voter wears a sticker after voting in the U.S. presidential election at the Robert Guevara Community Center in Kissimmee, Florida November 6, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
A new article released by Latino Decisions found that pre-election polls in Florida misrepresented the Latino vote and overall failed to take several factors into account for their results. According to the article, which was released on Wednesday, some pre-election polls showed that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would receive a larger number of Latino voters than President Barack Obama on Election Day.
Latino Decisions asserted that the results from an Oct. 10-11 poll by Florida International University/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald were flawed in their results, which stated that 50.7 percent of Latinos would vote for Obama and 44.2 percent would vote for Romney. According to the article, the pre-election poll by FIU was inaccurate for two reasons.
The first reason is that the poll failed to include cell phones in its calling group. "There is a growing consensus that omitting cell phones biases polling results in favor of the Republican Party," the article stated. The second reason the results were inaccurate, Latino Decisions said, was because the poll failed "to accurately account for the political attitudes of Cuban Americans, who are more Republican-leaning than other Latinos."
It added, "Not only has the Latino population in the state of Florida grown substantially over time, but it has become more diverse, with Latinos of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent becoming a greater segment of the Latino electorate. Not accounting for this basic demographic shift can pose major problems for polls intended to predict election outcomes."
Another poll analyzed by Latino Decisions was one conducted by Mason-Dixon during the week of October 8, which found Romney leading among Latinos 46 percent to 44 percent. Although the poll included both landlines and cell phones, its Latino sample size (13 percent out of 800 registered voters in Florida), was far too small.
According to the article, "This sample size leads to a 10 percent margin of error for Latino respondents, making the 46-44 margin between Romney and Obama absolutely meaningless, not 'ominous' as described in this article [by the Tampa Bay Times]."
Post-election exit polls in Florida revealed that President Obama took 60 percent of the Latino vote there, which many are accounting for his victory in the state. According to Latino Decisions, the president increased his support among Florida Latinos from 57 percent in 2008 to 60 percent in 2012.