FIU's Cuba Poll: Manipulations, Omissions and Contradictions

Wednesday, June 18, 2014
When a poll is more concerned about meeting its sponsor's expectations, than about being thorough and scientific, then manipulations, omissions and contradictions abound.

That's exactly what has happened in the 2014 edition of FIU's Cuba poll, sponsored by the for-profit "progressive" lobbying firm, Trimpa Group, which works to lift the embargo towards Cuba.

In this morning's The Miami Herald, FIU Professor Guillermo Grenier, who led the poll, admitted to manipulating the numbers.

"Grenier acknowledged his numbers reflect only those respondents who said they favored or opposed the embargo and did not include 'don’t know/no answer' replies. Including those numbers in the tally would change the percentages to 45-41 (from the reported 52-48) against the embargo — short of a majority and with 12 percent replying 'don’t know/no answer.'"

That casts even further doubt on all of the poll's numbers.

Why would an academic institution do this? Such manipulations are highly questionable.

What you’re telling me is unusual. Really unique. Very, very extremely rare," David Hill, a nationally known pollster with Hill Research Consultants in Washington D.C., said about FIU’s method.

The Miami Herald had also first noted that:

"Although only 62 percent of all the Miami-Dade Cubans surveyed by FIU said they were U.S. citizens, 90 percent also reported that they were registered to vote."

Remember -- only U.S. citizens can vote.

Could FIU have been so sloppy?

We can't say for sure, as they purposely don't disclose all of their data.

But let's take a closer look.

Here is the tab for the question: Are you a U.S. Citizen?

Overall, 62% answered YES, while 32% answered NO.

According to the tab's breakdown, 14% of those not registered to vote were U.S. citizens, while 86% were not and 1% did not respond. For a total of 101%!

But then, they have a whole separate tab asking the question: Are you registered to vote?

Overall, 90% answered YES, while 10% answered NO.

Needless to say, those numbers don't mesh.

(It also shows how heavily FIU weighed the poll with non-U.S. citizens and non-voters.)

Similar contradictions are found policy-wise. Here's our favorite:

The poll asks, "do you think people living in the US should be allowed to invest in new non-governmental small businesses in Cuba?"

Overall, 60% said NO, while 40% said YES.

Yet, the poll claims these same Cuban-Americans support lifting the embargo by a 52-48% margin (or 45-41% margin).

In other words, Cuban-Americans purportedly support doing businesses with Castro's monopolies, but not with "cuentapropistas"?

Here's another one:

The poll asks, "the US Department of State [or US Government] includes Cuba on a list of four countries which the US government considers to be State Sponsors of Terrorism. This designation penalizes persons and organizations engaging in certain activities with Cuba and the other countries on the list. The other countries on the list are Iran, Sudan and Syria. Do you believe that Cuba should be kept on that list of penalized countries that support terrorism, or be taken off the list?"

Overall, 63% said YES, while 37% said NO.

Yet, the poll claims these same Cuban-Americans support lifting the embargo by a 52-48% margin (or 45-41% margin).

In other words, Cuban-Americans purportedly want to sanction the Castro regime for supporting terrorism, but do business with its monopolies?

That's rubbish.

This sloppy poll was designed for a sensationalist headline.

FIU should be ashamed of itself.