Prominent pollster Sergio Bendixen of Bendixen & Amandi International disagrees with Crowley Political Report's view of recent polling of Cuban-American voters. That story, which appeared here and in Columbia Journalism Review noted considerably confusion in the reporting of polls and questioned the disparity among pollsters. I think Mr. Bendixen may have missed the point.
Since Mr. Bendixen spent time writing a lengthy rebuttal (which he added as a comment to the original story) - it seems only fair to post his reply here:
From Sergio Bendixen
When I first came to the United States from Peru in 1961, Ricky Ricardo was the only television personality I could identify with. So any time his image is used to challenge anything Cuban, I must come to his defense.
The recent Crowley Political Report is missing some important information which has obviously clouded the judgment of its author when it comes to his conclusions.
1.) Most - if not all - researchers and pollsters agree that if you want to accurately measure the voting behavior of a demographic group, exit polling is the best way to do it, as long as it includes interviews with absentee and other early voters. Pre-election polls cannot predict accurately which voters will show up at the polls and which voters will not. Precinct analysis of voting results cannot reveal the voting behavior of Cuban voters because there are no "pure Cuban" precincts in Miami-Dade County or any other county in the United States. The top 50 "Cuban precincts" in Miami-Dade County (according to the U. S. Census) have a substantial percentage (20% to 50%) of African American, White Anglo and non-Cuban Hispanic registered voters within them.
2.) The only organizations that conducted an exit poll in Florida among Cuban voters were Edison Research (for the major television networks and AP), the Pew Hispanic Center and Bendixen & Amandi International (B&A: my firm). All of the other polls and studies that Mr. Crowley mentions in his report were either pre-election polls or post-election precinct analysis of Miami-Dade "Cuban precincts." Those include the FIU/Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald poll of likely Florida Hispanic voters conducted by Professor Eduardo Gamarra in October, the FIU post-election precinct analysis utilizing "ecological regression" methodology conducted by Professor Dario Moreno (incorrectly identified in the Crowley report as an exit poll), and the Latino Decisions "eve of the election" Florida Hispanic poll. The report also cites an electoral analysis by Professor Ben Bishin of the University of California at Riverside.
3.) Mr. Crowley misses an obvious pattern in the data. The three statewide exit polls show extremely similar results. All of them show Obama and Romney splitting the statewide Cuban vote (Edison and Pew had Obama at 49% and Bendixen & Amandi had Obama at 48%). In other words, all three exit polls had the same finding - Cuban voters supported a Democratic presidential candidate at a historic level in 2012.