Pollsters (Still) Getting Latino Vote Wrong in Colorado

The rollercoaster of polling results in Colorado has been of the more prominent stories of the 2014 election cycle, and it is a story we would expect to see many media outlets revisit once Election Day has finally come and gone. Polling results for various races have been all over the map in the last two months — some more obviously ridiculous than others (we're looking at you, Quinnipiac) — and politicos on both sides of the aisle have been scratching their heads at the mix of numbers. 

One of the more consistent inconsistencies, however, appears to be a result of errors trying to survey Latino Voters. We mentioned this last week as well, but here's more from Buzzfeed News:

In 2010, Sen. Harry Reid was engaged in a bitter battle with Sharron Angle. He was headed for a loss, polls said.

Despite polls showing him down about 3% on average, he won by 5.6%. The surprise was largely attributed to Latino voters being polled incorrectly. Nate Silver wrote about this after hearing from Matt Barreto, of Latino Decisions, a polling firm focused on the Latino vote.

Now with the 2014 midterm election looming, Barreto argues to BuzzFeed News that it’s happening again, this time in Colorado where polls show Republican Rep. Cory Gardner leading Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

“Even if you give other polls the benefit of the doubt and assume the rest of their statewide numbers are correct — if you pull their Latino numbers out and put ours in — instead of Udall being down by 3, he’s up 3 to 4,” Barreto said. [Pols emphasis]

That's a pretty significant swing that is beyond the margin of error in most polls. So how does it happen?

Latino Decisions says that mainstream polls fail in capturing the nuance of the Latino vote because many only poll in English, with small samples of Latinos somewhere in the 40-60 range, whereas they survey 400-600 bilingually. Cell-phone only, Spanish-speaking, lower socio-economic status Latinos are the most Democratic of all Latino voters, they argue, and are the most difficult and costly voters to include in a poll, according to a recent blog post. Polls in English, on the other hand, oversample higher income Latinos who are more likely to lean Republican, according to Barreto.

A recent Latino Decisions/NCLR Action Fund poll found that 66% of Latinos say they will or are likely to vote for Udall, while only 17% said they would definitely or are likely to vote for Gardner. But of those who were interviewed in Spanish, 76% said they will vote for or are likely to vote for Udall.

Interesting food for thought as field operations take over the spotlight.

36 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Andrew Carnegie says:

    Pollsters, Fear not.

    The polls are wrong, most recent poll has Gardner up 46 to 38.6.

    The numbers supplied by the Secretary of States office showing Republicans up by 12% are wrong, too.

    Don't believe what you see or hear, the mythical Latino vote will save you.  After all the Dems followed through on their pledge to do immigration reform as the first matter of business in 2009, and they owe you one, right?


  2. FrankUnderwood says:

    Nonsense.  All the Colorado Latinas love "el guapo gringo de Yuma."  And all the Latino men want to be Cory Gardner.

    • DawnPatrol says:

      Si, es verdad! (lol)

      Because what lovely Latina could possibly resist the sawed-off Pillsbury Doughboy with the Moe Howard haircut? And what Latino male doesn't long to be a Howdy Doody white-bread button-down corporate shill with no soul?

  3. Republican 36 says:

    Just saw a new poll out this afternoon that has Gardner up by 7 points.

    Gardner 46%

    Udall 39%

    The poll is a USAToday/Suffolk U. poll.

  4. Ben Lindsey says:

    Just saw that poll too. I've spent an hour digging into the 200+ pages of crosstabs. It doesn't seem like a good poll for 3 reasons:

    1. Only sampled those who already voted and those very likely to vote. No likely voters at all. Zero.
    2. Udall is below 40 with women against gardener. 
    3. Women are more supportive of amendment 67 (personhood) than men are. It loses, but women are only 52% against in the Suffolk Poll.

    Something went rotten making that sausage

    • Republican 36 says:

      Thanks for studying the crosstabs. It sounds like its a ludicrous poll. Of course Gardner wins since they only sampled those who have already voted.

      • Davie says:

        It is becoming apparent that the dark money is going to paying for predetermined outcome polls to shift the stats on 538 and elsewhere.  The GOP Ministry of Truth is hard at work.

        It should make the "surprise outcomes" on Nov 4th all the much sweeter 🙂

        The corporate media really must be desperate for a new tax break or angel investor to bail them out.

    • Progressicat says:

      Did they only poll Focus on the Family HQ?

  5. Andrew Carnegie says:

    It's the polls fault.  It's the polls fault.

    There, you said it.

    Udall remains behind, but hopefully you feel better for at least a couple weeks.

    • Ben Lindsey says:

      Wow! My first day and zippy poops on my head! I've heard its good luck!

      Besides, the only poll that matters is election day. And the electorate in Suffolk's fantasy land simply wont be alone come November, that's for certain. The idea that 0% of the people who say they are likely to vote actually vote is ludacris

    • mamajama55 says:

      AC, I'm just curious. Why do you spend all day on here?

      I do think you get paid, but aside from that. What do you get out of it?

      Are you hoping to discourage Dems from GOTV work?

      Enjoy the thought of causing negative emotions in others?

      Are you a True Believer who wants to convert the heathens?

      Or what?

      • DawnPatrol says:

        His paid position requires him to come here to bait, to antagonize, and if possible, to demoralize. Good thing all of us here see instantly through his preening bullshit and false bravado.

        He is the very definition of the word, TROLL. And he will not respond to your question.

        • mamajama55 says:

          Yeah, that was predictable. He won't answer, and everyone else answers for him. I shoulda known.

          In my brief, doomed stint as a Redstate "troll", I actually wanted to engage posters in political discourse, ask probing questions, and open minds to new possibilities. So I wondered what motivates others in that same antagonistic role.

          Silly me.

          There are other conservatives on here (CWB, Republican36, JKLB, probably others) who do a better job at the "political discourse" thing. We need them. It gets kinda boring on here if everyone agrees.

      • Curmudgeon says:

        I still doubt AC is paid. Moddy strikes me as a more likely candidate for a paid shill; from time to time, he expresses decency and an unwillingness to sink lower than standard GOP talking points.  ACHole, on the other hand, has shown there is no depth of indecency he won't sink to, to post a "funny" cartoon mocking deaths of innocents, or disparage family members of any Dem he can.  You can't pay for that kind of amorality. He's freelance. 

        • PKolbenschlag says:

          Maybe its a two-for-one, past-the- 'best by' -date-sale kind of deal?  

        • Diogenesdemar says:

          Oh the one assworm is definitely a paid shill; this cycle's incarnation of ArapaGOP.

          The other assworm is probably not paid, or strictly a freelancer — and that's one of the biggest chips on his shoulder.  He's a real-life version of Cousin Eddie, minus the good nature.  Some southern transplant redneck loser pissed at his circumstances and his dependence on his relatives, pissed that even the GOPer Coloradans for the most part look disapprovingly upon his constant use of the n-word in spoken conversation, and pissed that he can't pass his notary exam and get his career ambitions here kickstarted.

    • MichaelBowman says:

      This troll is actually "Skippy", a/k/a WIF, tiny turd blossom and Thingy 1.  As Moddy's right hand man, he also plays the role of Masterbatus. Those appearances are generally brief in nature,  culminating in  premature ejerkulation. 

  6. Andrew Carnegie says:

    How to increase Hispanic Dem voter turnout?

    Have your WASP candidate tell the voters not to vote for a Republican Hispanic candidate because "he's not one of us."

    Ya' can't make this kind of stupid up.

    Kerr Sanchez

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