Did Romney lose the Cuban-American vote?
posted at 11:37 am on November 9, 2012 by Ed Morrissey
John Fund looks at a couple of competing exit polls and sees that Barack Obama dramatically improved his performance in a constituency long favoring the GOP:
Now that Florida has been called for Barack Obama by the slimmest of margins, Republicans have to confront the fact that they lost the Sunshine State because of weakness in a key demographic they used to own: Cuban Americans.
Exit polls from Fox News and the Pew Hispanic Center indicate that Cuban-Americans gave Obama 49 percent of their vote, besting Mitt Romney’s 47 percent. A competing exit poll by the Democratic firm of Bendixen & Amandi International gives Romney a 52–48 edge. Either way, Obama did far better among Cubans than he did in 2008, when he won only 35 percent of their votes.
Regardless of which one is most correct, the margin in Florida clearly can be explained by Romney’s collapse in support from perhaps the most anti-Communist voting bloc in the country. Ever since the Bay of Pigs invasion, Cubans have rallied behind Republicans, with every GOP nominee holding huge rallies in Miami and declaring “Cuba libre!” and “Cuba, si; Castro, no!” Ronald Reagan won more than 80 percent of Cuban voters in his two races for the presidency.
Read it all, but pay particular attention to what happened with Puerto Ricans, who made up 27% of the Hispanic vote in Florida.