Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Cuban Americans and the election

The most salient fact about last week’s election and the Cuba issue may be that Senator Obama won Florida without engaging in a bidding war about who would have the most hard-line policy toward Cuba. Indeed, ever since the primary election he made a conscious play to the part of the Cuban American community that dislikes U.S. regulations that limit family visits to Cuba.

Data from exit polls show that Senator McCain won a clear majority of Cuban Americans. At Babalu, they are doing a zip code-by-zip code demonstration of McCain’s majority in Cuban American areas of Miami-Dade. The exit polls themselves, cited in this Herald article, show that Obama won 35 percent of Cuban Americans:

According to Bendixen’s exit polls, Obama won 35 percent of the Cuban-American vote in Miami-Dade County, nearly 10 points higher than Kerry’s showing in 2004. Within that community, the generational difference was stark. For example, 84 percent of Miami-Dade Cuban-American voters 65 or older backed McCain, while 55 percent of those 29 or younger backed Obama.

Then there’s this from a LA Times story on the Obama victory and the Latino vote:

There were signs that a strong finish Tuesday by Obama did not necessarily help other Democrats down the ballot -- suggesting that this new ethnic coalition could have more to do with Obama himself than an overall shift toward Democrats.

Obama, for example, scored a dramatic win in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, beating McCain by 140,000 votes after an aggressive campaign to register minorities and get them to the polls.

But the GOP’s three Cuban American members of Congress in Miami-Dade all won reelection, beating well-financed Democrats who had hoped to ride Obama’s coattails. Two of those Democratic campaigns had even coordinated with Obama’s team on the ground.


Anonymous said...

CA's did vote more for OB than kerry. Its sad the mafia won, but who cares, OB can ignore them since his win in no way shape or form relied on cuban Americans.

Now, hopefully , sanity will come to our cuban policy. First off, I get to visit my grandmom, I can't wait to see her smiling face! she says Cubans (the real ones - in cuba) are estatic over OB win!

Anonymous said...

Well, I am "a real Cuban" as well and don't live in Cuba. I am also very happy about Obama's election. I voted for him twice, in the primaries and in the presidential election. It's a well known fact that the over 65 crowd in Miami is heavily brainwashed, fanatical, a very large percentage of them bein monoligual and dependent on Radio Mambí for the news. They do not distinguish themselves for being sophisticated or well informed in any way, shape or form. So I did not expect them to vote for Obama. I am glad to see the younger Cuban-Americans did vote for Obama. Obama's share among Cubans would have been higher had more Cubans who arrived after 1990 become citizens. Many of those arrived here totally disgusted with politics, idelogies and slogans and mainly wanted to make progress in their personal lives, be free and help their relatives back home. All of which is good, but becoming citizens and voting would have been even better.

theCardinal said...

so tired hearing about grandma in Cuba... I personally don't give three hoots. Obama played it smart by trying to appeal to the more recent arrivals and by saying he wouldn't lift the embargo. I prefer his policies but if he would be for all out lifting I'd have to back off because I would want the US to get something in return. If Obama does decide to stick his thumb the CAs it's best that he do it early after he passes his eco program and lays out his plan for withdrawal from Iraq. He's got to be close enough to the 100 days that he still has a honeymoon and early enough for the policy to sink in so it can't be flipped if by some miracle he doesn't get re-elected. The hard part is the Congress. House is easy but Senate with a filibuster and two Cubans there will be hard.