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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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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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Poll: Obama maintains wide lead among Latinos

Source: Latino Decisions


It's too soon to know if Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's new Spanish-language ads touting his father's Mexican birthplace will see any payoff, but a new poll of Latino voters could well have him in an it's-time-to-try-anything position.

According to new survey results released by the Latino Decisions polling firm, President Obama's lead over rival Romney with Latino voters continues to grow. Obama, whose weak point among Latinos has been his tough immigration record, got a bump among these voters following a June announcement that he would allow some young undocumented immigrants to apply for temporary legal status. The effect has apparently yet to wear off, leaving Obama with a 70-22 percent lead over Romney among the Latino voters polled.

While Obama polled ahead of Romney among Latinos in general, his greatest lead was among the first generation. Among naturalized citizens, Obama led Romney 72-19 percent. He also led by a wide margin among Latinos who are Spanish-dominant, 76-15. More from the poll results:

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Poll: Obama's popularity among Latinos spikes

Source: Latino Decisions


Was President Obama's announcement last Friday that he would grant temporary legal status to some undocumented youths a smart political move? Seems like it. A second poll since last week by the Latino Decisions polling firm shows that at least among Latinos in five battleground states, Obama maintains a strong lead over GOP rival Mitt Romney.

Overall in the key states of Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Nevada and Virginia, a poll of 400 Latino respondents found Obama leading by 63 percent over Romney's 27 percent.

There are regional differences, of course. In Florida, where more Latino voters lean right, Obama led by a somewhat smaller margin, 53 percent to 37, although Obama's lead there is up slightly from January poll results. In Virginia, Obama lead by 59 percent over Romney's 28 percent.

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Poll: Latinos prefer original DREAM Act, but are split on 'DREAM-light'

Source: Latino Decisions


The polling firm Latino Decisions has been tracking Latino voter attitudes in the run-up to the 2012 election for some time now, and the latest temperature check deals with what's referred to as "DREAM-light," a yet-to-be-introduced alternative to the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act that is being floated by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida.

The poll also checks the temperature on Latino voters' support for President Obama vs. GOP nominee-apparent Mitt Romney, although there's no surprise there: As several other recent polls have indicated, Latino voters continue to favor Obama, even in spite of Obama's recent statement in support of same-sex marriage and some Latinos' social conservatism.

But the Dream Act part is interesting, if not altogether surprising either. An overwhelming majority of the Latinos polled said they supported the most recent version of the original Dream Act, which proposes granting conditional legal status to undocumented college students and military hopefuls who arrived in the U.S. before age 16, with a path to citizenship. The forthcoming version being discussed by Rubio would also offer these young people temporary legal status, but without a clear path to citizenship, a aspect that's faced substantial criticism.

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