[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Generational Shift Among Cuban-Americans? (UPDATED)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Generational Shift Among Cuban-Americans? (UPDATED)

(Just realized the first sentence of the post makes absolutely no sense. That's what happens when you throw a post up in a hurry).

At least that doesn't appear to be the case after the results of the three Miami-Dade congressional races involving Republican incumbents. Each of the three Cuban-American Republicans won: two by big margins and the other by a closer margin but still decisive.

Add this to the fact that strongly Cuban-American Miami-Dade areas remain red (or green), and there's little evidence of a significant shift. Further analysis of demographic/ethnic votes are sure to follow, and we'll have a better picture of the Cuban-American vote at that time. Until then, all media outlets such as the Miami Herald who have been hammering the "generational shift" theme can do is to try to put a spin or nuance to it:

In a nod to the new political climate, Miami-Dade's three congressional Republican incumbents -- all Cuban Americans -- kept their seats by emphasizing the economy more than Castro.

Obama won Miami-Dade by about 133,000 -- triple Democrat John Kerry's margin in 2004. Part of the reason: Most Cuban precincts didn't support McCain as strongly as precincts with the highest black populations backed Obama. Obama's biggest vote margin was in Broward: 241,000.

That Cuban-Americans didn't support McCain as strongly as blacks supported Obama is the understatement of the year. I would add: NEVER has Cuban-American support for a Republican been as strong as blacks' support for Obama.

More nuance from the Herald:

Once a reliable Republican voting bloc, Hispanics have shifted more toward Democrats in recent years as South and Central Americans started swelling the voter rolls and curbing the influence of Miami-Dade's Cuban Americans, who comprise about 70 percent of the county's Republican voters.

Give the Herald credit. They're correct in acknowledging that the real significant shift has occurred among non-Cuban Hispanics.

The Obama team comes up with this in the first linked Herald article:

''The politics driven by the embargo and Fidel Castro are becoming long gone,'' said Obama's Florida campaign manager, Steve Schale, who noted that younger Cuban Americans seemed to be shifting toward the Democrats as well.

"Seemed" is correct. We'll see how the breakdowns look.



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