An Unreliable and Politically Irrelevant Cuba Poll

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Despite the high-flying rhetoric and predictions earlier in the year, anti-sanctions lobbyists have run into a wall in the U.S. Congress.

This is mostly due to the horrible (and predictable) metrics resulting from Obama's one-sided deal with Cuba’s dictatorship.

As U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) eloquently summarized during an October 7, 2015, floor speech:

"Today, ten months later, the metrics of this new policy show it's clearly headed in the wrong direction. The Castro family is poised for a generational transition in power. The Cuban regime's monopolies are being strengthened. Courageous democracy leaders are being relegated to obscurity -- their voices muffled -- by the actions of the United States and foreign nations alike. Political repression has exponentially increased. The number of Cubans desperately fleeing the island is rising.  And the purpose and intent of U.S. law is being circumvented."

We'd also add that this new policy has done nothing to temper the Castro regime's alliances with rogue regimes throughout the world. To the contrary -- Castro has doubled-down on his support for Syria's Bashar al-Assad, Iran's Mullahs, Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro and Russia's Vladimir Putin, whose intelligence vessels are now using Cuba's ports to spy on American military bases.

Desperate for any traction in Congress, a coalition of anti-sanctions lobbyists (composed of unscrupulous business interests and ideologically pro-Castro groups) have released a poll of four states (Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee), purporting support for Obama's Cuba policy and for the lifting of sanctions.

This latest polling charade is farcical for four reasons:

It's not reliable. The poll only surveyed 150 people in each state. Any poll with such a small sample size is universally considered unreliable. Moreover, it's statistically impossible for a poll of 150 people in one state to have a 4% margin of error, as its purports. Thus, they seek to intentionally mislead (or lie).

It's agenda-driven. The poll was sponsored and paid for by a coalition of anti-sanctions lobbyists. This poll is akin to J Street's (anti-AIPAC group) infamous polls purporting that 84% of American Jews support a deal that preserves Iran's nuclear program.

It's low information. Not only is the sample size minuscule, but it focuses on a segment of the population that does not follow developments in Cuba. In contrast, a scientific poll conducted by OnMessage, Inc., shows how the more people are aware of Cuba’s repressive realities and anti-American activities -- namely the metrics highlighted above -- the more they oppose Obama's policy.

It's politically irrelevant. Cuba policy is a non-issue for voters in Indiana, Iowa, Ohio and Tennessee. It's literally the last thing on their minds when they go to the voting booth. Voter intensity for Cuba policy is only among the Castro regime's victims and their families, and those who follow the issue closely. Hence the reason why every single elected representative of the Cuban-American community -- both Republicans and Democrats -- stand in unison against Obama's Cuba policy.

Opponents U.S. sanctions policy towards Cuba should focus on the merits, rather than silly attempts to misinform and misrepresent Cuba policy to general public.