News Archive for February, 2014

For Immediate Release: February 18, 2014

FM3 Poll: Latino Voters Back Protection of Environment

From a February 13 article on Fox News Latino:

Hispanic voters in the Rocky Mountain states continue to exercise an important influence on local politics, particularly regarding the protection of the environment on the regional and community level, according to a poll released Thursday by Colorado College.

Eleven years ago, as part of its State of the Rockies Project, the college began surveying attitudes toward the environment in the states of Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

The 2014 edition of the Conservation in the West Poll is based on telephone interviews in English and Spanish carried out last month with 2,400 registered voters, 14 percent of them Latinos.

Republican pollster Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies and Democratic pollster Dave Metz of Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates conducted the study.

Among Hispanics, 83 percent said that the budget should not be cut for federal agencies tasked with protecting the environment, such as the U.S. Forest Service of the Bureau of Land Management.

In addition, 64 percent of Latino voters said they prefer to vote for candidates who explicitly support the activities of those federal agencies.

Together, the six Rocky Mountain states are home to almost 4.5 million Hispanics.

Latinos represent the key subgroup in deciding elections in this region, which has the highest index of negative feelings toward candidates who do not promote environmental protection.

The survey revealed that 44 percent of Latino voters said they were “strongly against” such candidates.

“Hispanics view the protection of our public lands as a moral obligation. It’s natural that this community would be drawn to candidates who support conservation,” Maite Arce, president and CEO of the Hispanic Access Foundation, said during the presentation of the results.

“With the tremendous growth of the Latino voter bloc, especially in the Western states, we’re going to see engagement in environmental policy and advocacy for our public lands at levels we’ve never seen before,” she said.

For Immediate Release: February 11, 2014

FM3 Poll: Majority of Americans Favor Ties With Cuba

From a February 10 article by Rick Gladstone in the New York Times:

After more than a half-century of official United States hostility toward Cuba punctuated by a comprehensive trade embargo, a majority of Americans — and an even greater majority of Floridians, home to this country’s largest Cuban-American population — now favor normalizing relations or engaging more directly with the Cuban government, according to a nonpartisan survey.

The results of the survey, commissioned by the Atlantic Council, a prominent Washington research institution, and released on Tuesday, were described by the group as an unprecedented reflection of shifting American attitudes toward Cuba that confound some long-held assumptions, particularly about Cuban-American antipathy toward the government of Raúl Castro.

The results also come against a backdrop of increasing sentiment in Florida and elsewhere that the American economic and political isolation of Cuba, one of the most enduring elements of United States foreign policy, not only has failed to satisfy its purpose of unseating the Castro government but may even be helping to perpetuate it.

“This survey shows that the majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle are ready for a policy shift,” Peter Schechter and Jason Marczak, the top two executives at the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center of the Atlantic Council, wrote in an introduction to the survey. “Most surprisingly, Floridians are even more supportive than an already supportive nation to incrementally or fully change course.”

While the survey showed that Americans have concerns about the Cuban government’s political repression, Mr. Schechter and Mr. Marczak said, they “recognize the need for alternatives in light of the failure of the current policy to achieve its objective.”

The survey found that 56 percent of respondents nationwide favor changing Cuba policy, a majority that jumps to 63 percent among Florida adults and 62 percent among Latinos nationwide. While support is strongest among Democrats and independents, the survey showed 52 percent of Republicans also favor normalization.

Narrower surveys have also shown that increasing numbers of Floridians want normalized relations with Cuba, but Mr. Schechter and Mr. Marczak said they believed their survey was the first to show that Florida leads the nation in that regard.

The survey found that the economic cost to the United States of maintaining the trade embargo with Cuba, a nation of 11 million, was a major reason a majority want to normalize ties. More than six in 10 respondents nationwide want the policy changed to enable American companies to do business in Cuba and permit Americans unfettered freedom to travel and spend money there.

Fifty-two percent also said Cuba should be deleted from the United States government’s list of countries that are considered state sponsors of terrorism, the others being Iran, Syria and Sudan. The designation automatically restricts the type of trade and other interactions Americans can have with Cuba. Although the Obama administration has loosened some of the restraints on travel and the ability of Cuban-Americans to send money to Cuba, most types of trade and investment are forbidden.

Conducted by telephone and cellphone in English and Spanish from Jan. 7 to Jan. 22, the survey was based on responses from 1,024 randomly selected adults, with oversamples of 617 Florida residents and 525 Latinos. The nationwide margin of error was plus or minus 3 percentage points; for Florida residents and for Latinos it was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

The survey was done by a partnership of Paul Maslin, a Democratic public opinion expert, and Glen Bolger, a leading Republican political strategist and pollster.

The American policy aimed at ostracizing Cuba is widely viewed around the world as an irrelevant throwback to the Cold War era. Just on Monday, the European Union agreed to begin negotiations with Cuba to increase investment and trade.