Saturday, October 3, 2009

Credibility You Say?

Not much time to post nowadays. But, here goes. Also, thanks to all those who share their comments. I will try to respond to all, and attempt to interact more with readers since I will be posting less.

Now where was I? Oh, yes. So, there was a new poll taken concerning last month's Peace without Borders concert in Cuba [PDF]. According to the new numbers, the majority of Cuban-Americans interviewed (53%) had a favorable opinion of the concert (a stark change from a previous poll showing a majority opposed to the planned concert [PDF]). I had commented elsewhere that perhaps Cubans in Miami had changed their minds about the concert after it aired live on several local channels in Miami. Indications in the local media proved accurate.

What I found most interesting in the new poll (conducted by the Cuba Study Group and Bendixen and Associates), aside from the significant change in general opinion about the concert, was the data from the 50 and over category.

According to the new poll, Cuban-Americans over 49 years old were the largest group who watched the concert, and also the group that most changed their minds about the concert (about 10% more than younger Cubans). And, the most popular response given for the favorable views about the concert was: it "uplifted Cuban people" (51%).

So how did hard-liners in the media respond? As usual, they totally dismissed the poll. Aside from the fact that Radio Mambi generally ignores all facts that conflict with their propaganda goals, they sometimes have some reasons behind their behavior.

1) Radio Mambi hosts have concluded that the Peace without Borders concert was a secretly planned effort by the Obama administration to normalize relations with Cuba. Therefore, it should be viewed as a failed attempt at doing so, and condemned for trying. The new poll is merely another part of the conspiracy to normalize relations.

2) The new poll was conducted by Bendixen and Associates, a polling firm that has no credibility according to the hosts of Radio Mambi. Earlier this week, host Ninoska Perez-Castellon [photo above] cited two reasons: Bendixen polling was inaccurate in one Nicaraguan election, and inaccurate in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.

She's correct in one example, but lying in the other.

According to Perez-Castellon, Bendixen polling totally missed the mark in 1990 (that's right, almost 20 years ago!) when it predicted an election victory for Daniel Ortega over Violeta Chamorro by 53% to 35%. Chamorro instead won with 55%.

What Perez-Castellon doesn't say is that Bendixen polling, by 1990, had several accurate predictions throughout Latin America. Also, Bendixen was not alone in its flawed data concerning Nicaragua, several other surveys had Ortega as the winner over Chamorro, with only a few polls reporting accurately.* Here's an explanation of what really happened.

Next, Perez-Castellon says that Bendixen polling predicted that John Kerry would win over George W. Bush in the 2004 elections. That's a lie. A review of Florida newspaper articles (via Newsbank) during the 2004 campaign shows that Bendixen polling never predicted a Kerry win (nationally or in Florida), but instead consistently revealed important data about hispanic and Cuban voting [article "Cuban Americans Split on Kerry"]. While Bendixen and Associates worked diligently with Democrats, providing information about changing attitudes within hispanic and Cuban voters, it never predicted a victory for John Kerry.

The only one whose credibility is suspect is Radio Mambi's.

*[Feb. 27, 1990, The Miami Herald, "For Pollsters, Upset Carries a Bitter Sting" by Tom Fiedler.]

1 comment:

Skytron Table said...

Im interested about the significant change in general opinion about the concert.