Hispanic Vote
10:00 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Cubans Are Closing Obama's Lead Among Hispanics In Florida

Obama's lead among Hispanics is strong everywhere-- except Florida.
Obama's lead among Hispanics is strong everywhere-- except Florida.
Credit Matt Ortega /Flickr

Obama might have a sizeable lead among Hispanics nationwide-- but that doesn't seem to be the case in Florida.

Here, Obama's lead is razor thin. As Marc Caputo at The Miami Herald reports, that's because of Florida's Cuban population, which votes heavily Republican.

According to a new Florida International University/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely Hispanic voters in Florida, President Barack Obama only has a 51-47 percent lead over Mitt Romney.

Everywhere else in the country, Obama is polling much better with Hispanics.

There is a catch, though, to polling likely Cuban-American voters-- and it's a catch that has pollsters stumped.

In short, Cubans are not only more likely to vote and make their voice heard, they are also more likely to pick up a phone and let a pollster know how they are going to vote than other Hispanic populations.

According to Caputo,

The sheer response rate and strong backing for Romney among voters of Cuban ancestry has cropped up in other Florida polls. Together, the polls could be detecting an unrivaled intensity for the Republican ticket that could help keep Obama from a second Florida win — and therefore a second-term in the White House.

Gamarra, a registered Democrat of Bolivian descent, actually had to scale back the number of Cuban-American respondents in the poll, a process known as “weighting,” which he prefers not to do.

Gamarra stopped polling in South Florida all together when he concluded the three-day survey last week in order to reach other Hispanics — those of Puerto Rican, Mexican and South and Central-American ancestry.

“Polling Florida Hispanics is extremely difficult,” Gamarra said. “It’s not just a Cuban conundrum, but it’s a Florida and Miami-Dade conundrum.”

Cubans are, however, not as heavily reported in exit polls on Election Day, the Herald reports. That's because they are more likely to vote early or absentee here in Florida.