Questions Raised About Polling
PRESS RELEASE from Center for American Progress Action Fund

For Immediate Release
October 26, 2012
Laura Pereyra, Center for American Progress Action Fund

ADVISORY: Accurately Counting the Latino Vote Matters- CAP Action and Latino Decisions React to National and State Polls’ Lack of Representative Samples of Latinos’ Voices

Washington, D.C — On Monday, October 29, 2012, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and Latino Decisions will host a press call to discuss the causes and consequences of many pre-election national and state polls’ misrepresentation of the Latino Vote. For years, polls have failed to accurately account for Latino voters in their samples across the country for three reasons: 1) their sample sizes of Latinos are often far too small; 2) their Latino samples are often not representative of the Latino population; and 3) Latinos are often not being interviewed in Spanish at the correct proportions.

This miscalculation and misrepresentation of Latino voters continues today as Latino Decisions pointed out in a recent blog.  Take the recent Monmouth University poll, in which only 48 percent of Latino voters supported Romney versus 42 percent who supported President Obama.  This is not consistent with eight recent national polls of Latinos, where an average of 70 percent of Latinos supported President Obama while just 22 percent supported Gov. Romney.

Nor does it make much sense when some state polls have Romney leading among Hispanics in Florida or Obama leading by just eight points among Nevada Latinos.  These findings are reminiscent of the 2010 election when Nevada polls drastically underestimated Harry Reid’s lead among Hispanics voters and consequently had the election outcome completely wrong.

In addition to errors in the pre-election polls, exit poll samples of Latinos have been notoriously wrong.  In 2004, national exit poll partner Warren Mitofsky noted after the fact that their Latino data was not representative, and included too few Spanish speaking Latinos.  In 2010 the exit polls reported that anti-immigrant candidate Sharon Angle won 30 percent of the Latino vote, but post-election analysis revealed she likely won 10 percent or less. Barreto and Teixeira will discuss the problems and pitfalls of poor polling and poor exit poll data.

Given how crucial the Latino vote will be in this election, pollsters need to do a better job of analyzing the Latino vote and ensure that they represent the voters’ true intentions.  Please join CAP Action polling expert Ruy Teixeira and Latino Decision’s Matt Barreto to discuss how the problems and pitfalls of poor polling and poor exit poll data blur the true measure of the Latino voter.

What: Press call to discuss how national and state polling has distorted the voices of Latino Voters.

When: Monday, October 29, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Who: Call info: [omitted]
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.