FIU's Fungible Cuba Poll

Tuesday, June 17, 2014
For over two decades, FIU has conducted polls of Cuban-American attitudes regarding U.S. policy.

And for over two decades, these "low-information" polls have never translated into political reality.

Part of the reason is that FIU's polls are not an academic exercise. 

Their results can be predicted by their sponsors.

Past FIU Cuba polls have been sponsored by the Brookings Institution, the Cuba Study Group, the Christopher Reynolds Foundation and Mariela Castro's favorite international patron, the Ford Foundation.

All of these groups lobby heavily in favor of unconditionally lifting sanctions towards the Castro regime.

This year's poll (released this morning) was brought to you courtesy of The Trimpa Group and George Soros' Open Society Foundation.

We all know George Soros and his policy views.

For those unfamiliar with The Trimpa Group, it's a self-described "progressive consulting, philanthropic and political investment advising, and government relations firm."

Most recently, The Trimpa Group was hired to engineer the lobbying campaign of an off-shoot of the Cuba Study Group called #CubaNow, which placed ads in the Washington, D.C. Metro advocating for the lifting of sanctions.

In other words, FIU has gone from having its polls sponsored by ideological non-profit organizations to ideological, for-profit lobbyists.

That's a whole new low.

So let's call a spade-a-spade. This is not an FIU poll, it's a Trimpa Group poll.

And of course, in the spirit of The Trimpa Group's lobbying campaign, its poll purports Cuban-Americans support lifting the embargo by a 52-48% margin.

Moreover, it purports Cuban-Americans support travel to Cuba by a laughable 69-31% margin.

Ted Trimpa is also Chairman of the Tectonic Theatre Project, which is hosting an upcoming "people-to-people" trip to Cuba, so it was important for his poll to show strong support for such boondoggles as well.

Compare these results to last week's poll sponsored by The Miami Herald -- a more neutral observer -- and conducted by Democratic pollsters Bendixen & Amandi (no stalwarts of Cuba sanctions).

According to The Miami Herald's poll, Cuban-Americans oppose lifting the overall embargo by a 56-36% margin.

Meanwhile, Cuban-Americans oppose lifting travel restrictions by a 51-42% margin.

The huge differences between The Trimpa Group's poll and The Miami Herald's poll are nowhere near the margins of error.

These differences would probably be even greater if any of them had bothered to conduct a "high-information" poll, which actually addressed current events on the island, e.g. overwhelming support for sanctions in the pro-democracy movement, increased human rights violations, Castro's American hostage, arms smuggling to North Korea, harboring terrorists and subverting Venezuela's democracy.

Even The Atlantic Council's poll included one "high-information" question, which referenced Castro's human rights abuses. In that poll, when Cuba's realities were referenced, purported support for "normalizing relations or engaging directly" with the Castro regime dropped dramatically -- from 56% nationwide and 63% in Florida, down to 43%.

To preserve some semblance of academic integrity, FIU should at least consider being more scrupulous about its content and push-poll sponsors.

For this is a joke.