On a press call today, pollsters and experts on the Latino and AAPI electorates discussed why the national exit polls and many pre-election polls rely on methods that fail to accurately capture these subsets of the American electorate. The speakers also announced key details about 2016 Latino and AAPI election eve polling, being conducted nationally and in a number of states – the most accurate and in-depth reflection of Latino and AAPI voters’ views on Election Day.
Click here for a summary of what to look for when it comes to good vs. bad polling of Latinos and AAPI voters – and why the national exit polls miss the mark regarding these voters.
A recording of today’s call is available here.
EunSook Lee, Director of AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, said, “Asian Americans are registering and participating in this election in record numbers. As the fastest-growing racial group in the country, neither party can afford to take the Asian American vote for granted – particularly in a close election, when their vote could make all the difference.”
Taeku Lee, Principal at Asian American Decisions, said, “”Public polling and the exit polls repeatedly get it wrong when it comes to capturing the Asian American electorate, whether by including too few Asian Americans in the sample, failing to conduct interviews in their primary language, or failing to ask about the issues that really matter to Asian Americans. Most pollsters also group Asian Americans into one category, or even lump them in with “other”, and do not break it down by ethnicity. This obscures important differences in voting, partisanship, and policy views between groups, for example, in the contrast between Vietnamese and Indian Americans.”
Gabriel Sanchez, Principal of Latino Decisions, said, “In terms of where things stand, all indicators suggest that there will be high levels of Latino turnout in 2016. According to our survey data points, Latino enthusiasm is consistently ten points higher than what we found at this point in 2012. Also, when asked directly, 71% of Latinos polled believe this election is the most important election to vote in. In 2012, our Latino turnout prediction was very accurate, and given our superior polling methodology, we are confident that our Election Eve data will be the most accurate available in 2016 . Early voting numbers also suggest strong turnout for Latinos, with substantially higher early vote numbers for Latinos across several key states when we compare to 2012. We believe two aspects are driving this: the desire to vote to block Trump, and increasing enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton as a candidate.
“One fatal flaw of pre-election surveys are too few Latinos in samples, leaving very large margin of errors, sometimes exceeding ten percentage points. Additionally, the wrong Latinos are often surveyed, meaning that they are not representative of the population they are supposed to project. The crosstabs of recent CNN polls that have garnered a lot of attention have no breakout of Latino voters, showing their samples are too small to make inferences about Latinos even in key states like Arizona, Colorado, and Nevada.”
Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said, “The real October surprise this cycle may just be the Latino and AAPI firewall that blocks Trump and delivers victories to Hillary Clinton and Democratic candidates up down the ballot.” Latinos and Asian Americans are the fastest growing groups in this 50-50 political nation, on track to represent north of 15% of the voters in this election. They will play an even bigger role in diverse swing states that will determine the outcome of the presidential race and control of the Senate. We are thrilled to be able to provide results from in-depth election eve polling in order to capture, with breadth and depth, the voting behavior of these increasingly important communities.”
The Latino election eve poll, conducted by Latino Decisions, will include a massive sample of more than 5,500 Latinos who voted in the 2016 election and will gauge their views on a range of political, candidate, and issue topics. In addition to the national results, the Latino election eve poll will have state-level results for the following twelve states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, North Carolina, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin (minimum of 400 voter responses in each state and minimum of 800 voter responses in Florida to allow for a more detailed analysis of Florida’s diverse Latino electorate). The AAPI election eve poll, conducted by Asian American Decisions, will include national level findings and state data for eight states: California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Texas.
Sponsors of the AAPI poll include AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, SEIU, Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, National Education Association. For the Latino poll, sponsors include America’s Voice, SEIU, Mi Familia Vota, NCLR, and Latino Victory Project.
Latino Decisions / America’s Voice Battleground State Polling 2016: