Tuesday, January 15, 2019

FIU Poll of Cuban Americans (Executive Summary)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of FIU SURVEY
OF CUBAN AMERICAN OPINION


The Cuban-American residents of Miami-Dade County
are evenly split on their views about the U.S. embargo
of Cuba. Half of the population favors the continuation
of the embargo and half favors cessation. Opposition
to the embargo rises to 65% among Cuban Americans
ages 18 to 39. Similarly, 60% of those arriving since
1995 oppose continuing the embargo. Among
registered voters, the same 50-50 split is evident.
(Figure Cluster 3). The rise in support for the embargo
is largely due to the apparent shifting of views of the
pre-1979 cohort. The 1959-1979 migrants increased
their antagonism to lifting the embargo by over 10%
points between the 2016 and 2018 polls.

A majority of respondents favors increasing economic
relations with the island. The expansion or maintenance
of the existing business relations receives support from
68% of the sample. As in most engagement initiatives
measured in the poll, there is a significant split between
the views of earlier arrivals (before 1980) and those who
left Cuba after 1995. The post-1995 migrants, along with
second and third generations not born on the island, are
much more likely to support the expansion of business
ties (55% and 60% respectively—Figure Cluster 4).
Figure Clusters 5 and 6 present the support for allowing
U.S. companies to sell food and medicine to Cuba.

Half of the respondents would allow investment by
American residents and citizens in the private business
enterprises emerging in Cuba. The post-1995 migrants
and those born outside of Cuba are more supportive of
increasing investment opportunities than the population at
large (59% and 69% respectively) while pre-1995 cohorts
are dead set against the idea (Figure Cluster 13).

A large majority (63%) supported the decision to open
diplomatic relations with Cuba, with post-1995 arrivals
and second and third generation Cuban Americans
strongly backing the Obama era policy shift (75% and
77% respectively). Support for the reestablishment of
diplomatic ties maintains a solid majority among all age
groups up to age 76 and above, after which it drops to
a 31% support. A majority (61%) of registered voters
express support while this figure balloons to 77% among
non-registered voters (Figure Cluster 7).

A strong majority of respondents (57%) favors the
lifting of travel restrictions impeding all Americans
from traveling to Cuba. Unsurprisingly, the newer
arrivals and those not born on the island lead the
charge in supporting unrestricted travel (68% and
69% respectively) while the pre-1980 migrants oppose
free travel by almost the same proportion (63%).
Approximately 55% of registered voters also favor
unrestricted travel by all Americans (Figure Cluster 9).
n Similarly, 65% of the respondents support the
continuation of “people-to-people” travel opportunities
currently endorsed by U.S. policy, with all age cohorts,
except for the 76 and above cohort, expressing majority
support. Sixty two percent of registered voters favor the
policy as well (Figure Cluster 11).

A majority of respondents agree with the termination
of the “wet foot/dry foot” immigration policy—52% to
41%, with 8% unsure of their views. Those coming after
1980 are lukewarm to the change of policy (only about
40% support its termination) while those leaving Cuba
before 1980 and those born outside of Cuba maintain
a sturdy base of support for its abolition (64% and 55%
respectively—Figure Cluster 8).

While the population remains Republican in its voter
registration (54%), the new arrivals and younger
voters are fueling the growth of the Independent, or
what the State of Florida officially labels “no party
affiliation” registrants (26%). The Republican turnout
was a significant factor in the midterm elections.
Approximately 70% of Cuban Americans voted for
Governor Ron DeSantis, 69% for Senator Rick Scott,
and 72% percent of the general vote for Congressional
House Representatives was in support of the Republican
candidate, even when two of three most significant races
(Shalala/Salazar and Curbelo/Murcasel-Powell) were
decided for Democrats.

When asked to list the issues that influence them to vote
for a specific candidate, the economy and jobs, health
care, gun control and taxes topped the list. A candidate’s
position on Cuba ranked dead last in motivating the
Cuban-American vote.

 
Full survey report here
https://cri.fiu.edu/research/cuba-poll/2018-fiu-cuba-poll.pdf

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