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realclearworld

Cuban-Americans, still voting Republican after all these years

As we approach the midterm elections in November and, more importantly, the Presidential election in 2016 there will, as always, be media speculation about which way the Cuban-American vote will break. That's because Cuban-Americans have been a reliably Republican bloc in a swing state.

The mostly liberal media has been feeding the public a narrative that Cubans are changing their political views and especially their views about U.S. policy toward Cuba for literally decades. I can only assume that they believe that if they wish for it enough it will eventually happen.

After Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012 there was an immediate media reaction to exit polls that claimed that the Obama won among Cuban-Americans or that it was a virtual dead heat.

Pedro Roig, senior research associate and lecturer at the Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies at the University of Miami, has recently published a study of 2012 election results 38 very Cuban South Florida Precincts. He concludes:

The voting results demonstrate that Republican candidate Mitt Romney won the geographical area south of SW 8th Street to SW 56th Street (Miller) and west of SW 87th Avenue to SW 117th Avenue with 60.77% of the votes. This is an area with a predominantly Cuban-American community.

Immediately after the election I did my own analysis of 111 precincts in the most 10 most Cuban zip codes in Miami-Dade County. I concluded then that:

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.

At the time I estimated that Cubans broke for Romney 6-to-4. That's decisive but less so than previous GOP candidates. I think the next Republican candidate needs to do better in courting Cubans, articulating a clear foreign policy based on freedom and democratic principles (not just for Cuba) and explaining why rewarding the Castro regime is not in America's best interest. I know one who just might fit that bill.

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