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Differences between this 2008 Cuba/US Transition Poll and the regular FIU Cuba Poll

The FIU Cuba Poll has been conducted eight times since 1991. It has a number of questions that are repeated in each poll in order to track changes in the opinions of the Cuban community. It also has a relatively large sample; at least 1000, and usually 1200. The authors of the poll, Guillermo Grenier and Hugh Gladwin, arrange questions in the poll so each question has a context of previous questions leading up to it that is very similar across the poll in different years. It it is well-known that both the wording and the context of a question in a poll can strongly affect responses to it. In this (and in IPOR's FIU/Florida Poll done most every year since 1998) question wording and question context are kept as similar as possible in each poll to support comparability from year to year.

The FIU Cuba Poll is financed by sources we can find to add to funds we might have available at FIU. In the past outside funding has come from foundations and news media. Outside funders are welcome to suggest questions they are interested in studying as long as the questions are well designed and not biased. They cannot change our tracking questions or question context in the poll. Last year it was funded by FIU's Cuban Research Institute, IPOR, the Brookings Institution, and the Cuba Study Group. This year the same group of funders wanted to conduct the poll in conjunction with the U.S. elections. Due to funding limitations it was not possible to repeat to regular FIU Cuba poll. We thus decided to do a special poll with a smaller sample (800) and fewer questions (though including a number from the regular poll). Some new questions focused on the elections.

In order to have comparability with the FIU Cuba Poll on common questions, a similar structure of questions has been used for the first part of this poll. We begin with two questions on when real political change will happen in Cuba, and then some issue questions related to exchanges between the U.S. and Cuba, then two questions on the embargo, and then a couple of questions on U.S./Cuba engagement.

Sample and weighting

For this survey 800 randomly selected Cuban-American respondents were polled in Miami-Dade County, Florida. 500 interviews were done to land-line phones by National Opinion Research Services Services and 300 to cell phones by IPOR. The survey was done in Spanish and English with all bilingual interviewers. Interviewing took place from November 15 to December 1, 2008. The margin of error for the overall poll is plus or minus 3.5%.

Polls almost always employ weighting procedures to correct for sample design issues and differences in response rates between different demographic groups. For example, in landline interviews, women and older people are usually more likely to respond. In cell phone interviews the reverse is often the case. Weighting compensates for these differences by increasing or decreasing the "weight" of different demographic groups to adjust for their proportions in the population. In this poll, weighting was done using three age categories and gender. Demographic data for the weighting was obtained from the 2005 ACS. This is the same procedure that was used for the 2007 FIU Cuba poll. We have also experimented with adjusting the weights to incorporate more age categories and the 2007 ACS data. This change may possibly make results more accurate, since it splits the youngest age group, possibly better estimatating sometimes differing opinions of young Cuban-Americans born in the U.S. At the same time using more categories for weighting may introduce more fluctuation since weights are based on smaller numbers of respondents. Applying the 2007-based weighting procedure did not chang the direction or significance of any of the results, so we are still using the 2005 weighting procedure for the official results of the poll, as was in the first-released tables.

However, we did rerun the tabulations with the ACS 2007-based procedure for comparison; you can see them here.

 

 

First Nine Poll Questions

Over the past few years, people have been talking about the possibility of political changes bringing democracy in Cuba. When do you think that major political changes are likely to occur in Cuba? Would you say within one year, in two to five years, in six to ten years, over ten years, or never?

Esta llamada puede ser monitoreada para control de calidad. Aquí en los últimos años se ha hablado sobre la posibilidad de cambios políticos en Cuba. Cuándo cree usted que es probable que ocurran dichos cambios? Diría usted que en este año, de dos a cinco años, de seis a diez años, más de diez años, o nunca?

WITHIN ONE YEAR 7%
IN TWO TO FIVE YEARS 29%
IN SIX TO TEN YEARS 14%
OVER TEN YEARS 10%
NEVER 15%
NEVER AS LONG AS A CASTRO IS IN CHARGE 25%

 

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When Fidel Castro was replaced by Raul Castro as Cuba's president, how do you think that affected the possibility for real political change in Cuba? Do you think it made real change less likely to happen, more likely, or did it not make any difference?

Cuando Fidel Castro fue reemplazado por Raúl Castro como presidente de Cuba, como cree usted que ésto afectó la posibilidad de un verdadero cambio político en Cuba? Usted cree que la posibilidad de un verdadero cambio sea posiblemente muy poco, o posiblemente mucho, o no habrá ninguno.

LESS LIKELY 24%
MORE LIKELY 11%
NO DIFFERENCE 65%


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Would you favor or oppose ending current restrictions on sending money to Cuba for Cuban Americans?

Estaría usted a favor o en contra, de terminar con las restricciones actuales de envíos de dinero a Cuba para los cubanos-americanos?

FAVOR 65%
OPPOSE 35%

 

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Would you favor or oppose ending current restrictions on travel to Cuba for Cuban Americans?

Estaría usted a favor o en contra, de terminar con las restricciones actuales de viaje a Cuba para los cubanos-americanos?

FAVOR 66%
OPPOSE 34%

 

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What about for all Americans? Would you favor or oppose ending current restrictions on travel to Cuba for all Americans?

Estaría usted a favor o en contra, de terminar con las restricciones actuales de viajes a Cuba para todos los americanos?

FAVOR 67%
OPPOSE 33%

 

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Overall, do you think the U.S. embargo of Cuba has worked very well, well, not very well, or not at all?

En términos generales, cree usted que el embargo norteamericano a Cuba ha dado muy buen resultado, buen resultado, no muy bueno, o ninguno en absoluto?

VERY WELL 9%
WELL 12%
NOT VERY WELL 23%
NOT AT ALL 56%

 

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Do you favor or oppose continuing the U.S. embargo of Cuba?

Está usted a favor o en contra que continúe el embargo a Cuba?

FAVOR 45%
OPPOSE 55


Note: we tested this by using a different weighting procedure using 2007 ACS data and more age categories to see if the result is still statistically significant. With the procedure used for the initial release of the poll there was a 9 point margin on this question; with the new procedure it drops to 4 percentage points (53%/47% oppose/favor continuing embargo). This is still statistically significant given the margin of error for the poll of 3.5% (p=.0001 using two-tailed single sample t-test).


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Do you favor or oppose the U.S. re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba?

Está usted a favor o en contra del restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas entre los Estados Unidos y Cuba?

FAVOR 65%
OPPOSE 35%

 

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Should the U.S. government and the Cuban government engage in direct talks about migration and other critical questions?

Debería el gobierno de los Estados Unidos y el de Cuba establecer conversaciones directas sobre inmigración y otros asuntos críticos?

YES 79%
NO 21%


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