How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Do political exit polls misrepresent Latinos?

Presidential Primary Election

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Fernando Gutierrez exits the polling station at La Puerta Abierta Fellowship in Glassell Park on June 5.

Do political exit polls misrepresent Latinos and other voters of color?

So argues Stanford  University political scientist Gary Segura today in a piece on the Latino Decisions website; the polling firm, in which he is a principal, has been keeping tabs on the Latino voter climate in the runup to next week's election. 

Segura points to language as one problem that can affect exit poll tallies on election night, and how inaccuracies tend to prevail within smaller, geographically concentrated groups of ethnic voters. In addition, he writes the exit polls tend to over-represent people of color who are middle-class and better educated, and this also affects results.

What to do? Segura suggests a few additional questions for reporters to ask when they are using exit poll data. Read the full post on KPCC's political blog Represent!

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More Latino voters support Obama, but will they vote?

Election Panorama

Grant Slater/KPCC

Voters fill out ballots in the June 5 presidential primary election at Estrada Court Community Center in Boyle Heights.

A majority of Latinos surveyed say they'd vote for President Barack Obama, but how many of them will make it to the polls? That's one takeaway question from a new Pew Hispanic Center survey, which found a large majority of respondents (69 percent vs. 21 percent) preferring Obama over Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

At the same time, fewer Latinos are sure they'll vote. According to the report, 77 percent of Latino registered voters surveyed said they were “absolutely certain” they would vote this year, compared with 89 percent of registered voters in the general population as measured in a different Pew survey.

So what issues will get them to the polls? Unless the focus is on Latino voters in Arizona, it's not going to be immigration. According to the Pew survey, education, along with jobs and the economy, take top billing among Latino voters' concerns nationwide. Healthcare follows closely behind. Immigration, meanwhile, follows a relatively distant fifth, behind the federal budget deficit.

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Do exit polls misrepresent Latinos and other voters of color?

Mercer 11677

Steve Rhodes/Flickr (cc by-sa)

Do political exit polls misrepresent Latinos and other voters of color?

So argues Stanford  University political scientist Gary Segura today in a piece on the Latino Decisions website; the polling firm, in which he is a principal, has been keeping tabs on the Latino voter climate in the runup to next week's election. 

Segura points to language as one problem that can affect exit poll tallies on election night, and how inaccuracies tend to prevail within smaller, geographically concentrated groups of ethnic voters. In addition, he writes the exit polls tend to over-represent people of color who are middle-class and better educated, and this also affects results. He points out some previous unusual exit poll numbers, for example, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer "attracting an above-average 28% share of Arizona’s Hispanic vote just months after signing SB1070 into law," according to the National Exit Poll from 2010.

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'It'd be helpful if they'd been Latino': What was Romney really expressing?

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney speaks at a fundraiser in Dallas on Tuesday.

A comment made earlier this year by Mitt Romney about his family's roots in Mexico is drawing some heated reactions, and it's not because he declared himself Mexican American (he didn't).

In the by now famous "secret video" made of Romney speaking during a fundraiser in May in Boca Raton, Fla., Romney digs into his heritage like this:

...my dad, you probably know, was the governor of Michigan and was the head of a car company, but he was born in Mexico. And had he been born of Mexican parents I'd have a better shot at winning this, but he was [audience laughs] unfortunately born of Americans living in Mexico. They'd lived there for a number of years, and, uh, I mean I say that jokingly, but it'd be helpful if they'd been Latino…

That's from a transcript of the video as posted this week by Mother Jones; the video can be viewed/heard here.

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Romney and Latino voters: Does he stand a chance?

US-VOTE-2012-REPUBLICAN CONVENTION

Photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Mitt Romney waves after speaking during the 2012 Republican National Convention this week in Tampa, Florida, where he accepted the GOP nomination.

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney secured the Republican presidential nomination this week, but polls indicate that he has a long way to go in order to secure the support he needs from Latino voters that could help him win the White House.

Unlike former Republican president George Bush, whose immigration message resonated favorably enough to win him substantial Latino support, Romney hasn't scored well there. The most recent Latino Decisions tracking poll had 26 percent of Latino voters polled saying they would vote for Romney, versus 65 percent saying they would re-elect President Barack Obama. This is far from the goal that Romney's campaign has set, which is that he'll need 38 percent of the Latino vote in order to win.

Does Romney stand a chance? It's highly unlikely he'll hit the 38 percent goal, says Louis DeSipio, a political scientist and professor of Chicano/Latino Studies at UC Irvine. But there are still a few targeted approaches that Romney's campaign can take in states where Latinos might help tip the balance. Here he explains how.

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