Media are hyping an entrance poll result that shows Donald Trump receiving a plurality of votes from Hispanic Republicans in Nevada. But the vast majority of Latinos across the country do not support Trump, and experts are drawing attention to the poll's small sample size and high margin of error.
Entrance Poll Shows Trump With A Plurality Of Support From Latino Voters
CNN: Trump Had 45 Percent Of The Vote From Hispanic Republicans In Nevada Caucuses. CNN displayed entrance poll results showing that Trump received 45 percent of the vote from Hispanic Republicans in the Nevada caucuses:
Trump Uses Poll To Claim He's “Number One With Hispanics.” In his Nevada victory speech, Donald Trump implicitly referenced the entrance polls when he said of the results, "[Y]ou know what I really am happy about, because I've been saying it for a long time. Forty-six percent with the Hispanics. Forty-six percent. Number one with Hispanics. I'm really happy about that." [FoxNews.com, 2/24/16]
Media Hype The Poll As A “Shocking” Victory For Trump
ABC's Paula Faris: Trump Won “Even Among Hispanics” In Nevada Caucuses. On the February 24 edition of ABC's Good Morning America, Paula Faris reported that Trump won the Nevada caucuses, “even winning among Hispanic voters”:
PAULA FARIS: We do begin with Donald Trump's overwhelming win in the Nevada caucuses, his widest margin of victory yet in his third straight. Trump got more than 40 percent of the vote, even winning among Hispanics and evangelicals. [ABC, Good Morning America, 2/24/16]
MSNBC.com: “Perhaps The Most Shocking Demographic Victory ... Was His Solid Showing With Republican Latino Voters.” In a February 24 article, MSNBC.com reported that Trump had his “most formidable finish so far” in terms of Hispanic voters, winning “46 percent of the Latino GOP caucusgoers”:
Trump wins Hispanics: Nevada presented Trump's most formidable finish so far. He not only won both moderates and conservatives, he also won among voters whose top issues were the economy (47 percent), terrorism (37 percent) and government spending (36 percent). But perhaps the most shocking demographic victory of The Donald was his solid showing with Republican Latino voters. Trump had long predicted that he would win the Latino vote, despite months of widespread criticism over his extreme positions on combating illegal immigration.
The front-runner has proposed building a wall along the Southwest border of the U.S. (financed by Mexico) to keep immigrants out and has called for a “deportation force” to round up the 11 million plus undocumented people current (sic) in the country and deport them. He has also been condemned from claiming that Mexicans who cross the border are often “killers” and “rapists.” Nevertheless, Trump won 46 percent of the Latino GOP caucusgoers, although they only made up 9 percent of the total vote. [MSNBC.com, 2/24/16]
CNN's Kopan: Trump “Defies Conventional Wisdom” By Winning The NV Latino Vote. On the February 24 edition of Early Start, CNN politics reporter Tal Kopan reported that although polling included “a very small sample size and a high margin of error,” Trump “defie[d] conventional wisdom” to win the Republican Latino vote in the Nevada caucuses:
CHRISTINE ROMANS (HOST): He just wins category after category. When you look at this entrance polling you see that over and over, almost any way you slice the demographic, he was winning there except if you dig in and you look at recently decided voters. They tended to go for Marco Rubio. And people who want or value experience in their commander in chief, again, Marco Rubio. Everything else was Donald Trump.
TAL KOPAN: That's right, and he keeps bringing up that stat about how Hispanics went towards him, and it's a very small sample size and a high margin of error, but that's, in fact, what entrance polls show. And, once again, that sort of defies conventional wisdom with all the comments he's made about illegal immigration and building a wall on the border and having Mexico pay for it, and the comments he made about Mexicans very early on in the campaign, saying they were rapists and things like that. It hasn't sullied him at all with voters it seems. And yes, he actually won the Latino vote in Nevada when you had two Hispanic candidates in the race who could potentially be the first Hispanic president. It simply defies expectations left and right, no matter how you slice it. [CNN, Early Start, 2/24/16]
CNN Guest Cites Polling To Claim Trump “Showed That He Can Win ... With Hispanics.” On the February 24 edition of CNN's New Day, David Gregory asserted that Trump “showed he can win across the board, with Hispanics” because a CNN entrance poll showed Trump with 45 percent of Latino Republican voters in Nevada:
ALISYN CAMEROTA (HOST): David, let's just pull up the numbers again and see where we are. I mean, I think we are at about 96 percent of the votes having come in. Donald Trump got 45.9 percent. Marco Rubio, his closest competitor there, 23.9. Ted Cruz, 21.4. And then it goes down to Carson and Kasich at 4 point percentage and under. What do you see?
DAVID GREGORY: You know, we keep talking about whether Donald Trump has a ceiling. Well, he blew it off last night. I mean, at 45 percent he showed that he can win across the board, with Hispanics, with evangelicals. [CNN, New Day, 2/24/16]
Fox's Steve Doocy Says Poll Showed Trump “Had 45 percent Of The Hispanic And Latino Vote” In Nevada. In a February 24 interview with Donald Trump, Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy hyped the entrance poll, saying it showed that Trump “had 45 percent of the Hispanic and Latino vote” in the Nevada caucuses:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): And he's a guy who won last night in the Nevada caucuses. As you can see, Donald Trump, a gigantic 46 percent of Republicans voted for him. About 24 percent for Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz behind at 21. And Donald Trump joins us right now. Mr. Trump, thank you very much for joining us. You have now won in the West, you have won in the South. You have won in the Northeast. How do you feel on this Wednesday morning?
DONALD TRUMP: Well, I feel great. The numbers were so fantastic. We won with evangelicals, who I love, and we won with just about every group there is. And we won with the Hispanics, big league. We won at 46 with the Hispanics. And I've been saying that was going to happen because I'm going to bring jobs back. And my relationship with the Hispanics is fantastic, so we won by a lot. And just very happy. It was a big victory, a really big victory.
DOOCY: We just had Marco Rubio on the program and we put up that particular entrance poll where you had 45 percent of the Hispanic and Latino vote and he said, you know, that's not a large demographic out in Nevada.
TRUMP: Well, it is really a large demographic. And it really, it sets a tone because we're doing great with Hispanics. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/24/16]
Washington Examiner: “Despite Past Controversies, Donald Trump” Was “The Choice Of Hispanics” In Nevada Caucuses. In a February 24 article, the Washington Examiner wrote, “Despite past controversies, Donald Trump may have been the choice of Hispanics” in the Nevada caucuses, citing entrance polls in reporting that “Trump won 44 percent of Hispanics”:
Despite past controversies, Donald Trump may have been the choice of Hispanics who participated in Tuesday night's Nevada Republican caucuses.
According to entrance polls, Trump won 44 percent of Hispanics in the Silver State, topping Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who pulled 29 percent and 18 percent, respectively. Hispanics made up 9 percent of the electorate in the caucus state, which rounds out the first four voting states before Super Tuesday. [Washington Examiner, 2/24/16]
Washington Times: Trump “Even Won 44 Percent Of The Hispanic Vote” In Nevada. In a February 23 article, The Washington Times wrote, citing entrance polls, that Trump “won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote” in the Nevada caucuses:
Mr. Trump appeared to capitalize on voter frustration with Washington, with entrance polls showing that about six in 10 caucus voters wanted a candidate from outside the political establishment and were “angry” with the federal government.
Mr. Trump won 70 percent of those who wanted an outsider and 49 percent who said they were angry. He even won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote in Tuesday's contest. [The Washington Times, 2/23/16]
But Trump Remains Unfavorable With Hispanics Nationally
CNN's Margaret Hoover: Trump's Unfavorable Numbers Among Hispanics Nationally “Are Above 60 Percent,” And “There Is No Way You Can Extrapolate” From The Poll “For The Hispanic Population Of The United States.” On February 24 edition of New Day, CNN political commentator Margaret Hoover explained that the entrance polls that showed Trump overwhelmingly winning Hispanics in the Nevada Republican caucuses are “not a bellwether of how Hispanics are going to vote nationally.” Hoover pointed out that Trump's unfavorable numbers among Hispanics nationally “are above 60 percent, sometimes closer to 70 percent” and, “There is no way you can extrapolate 1,500 votes in Nevada for the Hispanic population of the United States in a general election”:
MARGARET HOOVER: [L]et's not overemphasize this. There were historic turnout last night -- 66,000 plus voters ended up voting in the caucuses. Fifteen hundred of them were Hispanic, OK? So less than like 3 percent, 4 percent. This is not a bellwether of how Hispanics are going to vote nationally.
ALISYN CAMEROTA (HOST): Why not, Margaret?
HOOVER: His favorability numbers with Hispanics nationally, you guys, look, when you look at the GOP caucus population and you're looking at the Hispanics across the board, across the country that are going to vote in a general election, his ... numbers are above 60 percent, sometimes closer to 70 percent unfavorable with Hispanics. There is no way you can extrapolate 1,500 voters in Nevada for the Hispanic population of the United States in a general election. [CNN, New Day, 2/24/16]
Latino USA: National Polls Show “Donald Trump Still Has A 'Latino Problem.'” A February 24 Latino USA article criticizing media coverage of Nevada entrance polls showing Hispanic support for Trump cited several national polls to show that he “still has a 'Latino problem'”:
It is safe to say (and Pew has already confirmed this) that Latino Republicans are not a large demographic, when compared to Latino Democrats. And there has been national polling data since last summer to suggest that Trump still has a “Latino problem” in a general election. Here are just some examples:
MSNBC/Telemundo/Marist, December 2015
This poll, which NPR's Latino USA wrote about last year, has Trump still doing poorly against Hillary Clinton with Latinos in a national election: 27% for Trump and 69% for Clinton. The on Republican candidate who does well with Latinos against Clinton is Marco Rubio at 38% to Clinton's 57%.
Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) Survey, November 2015
The PRRI poll had Trump with 80% unfavorables with Latinos.
Washington Post/ABC News, August 2015
An earlier poll said this:
[Trump's controversial comments] have turned him into a pariah among Hispanics, 82 percent of whom view him unfavorably (68 percent strongly so). [Latino USA, 2/24/16]
And Experts Explain Why The Entrance Poll Is Flawed
Latino Decisions: "The Entrance Poll Has A Very, Very Small Sample Size." In a February 24 post, Latino Decisions senior analyst and University of Nevada political science associate professor David Damore explained that “the entrance poll has a very, very small sample size” and would have a margin of error of over 8 percent:
1. We are only talking about the very small percent of Nevada Latinos who are Republican today. An overwhelming majority of Nevada Latinos are Democrats. In a recent poll asking about party identification, 55% of Latinos said they were Democrats, 29% said Independents and just 16% said they were Republicans. Assuming the entrance poll is correct (a very big assumption) and Trump won 44% of Latino Republicans, that means he was supported by about 7% of Latinos in Nevada (44% of 16 = 7.04). What that mean is that most likely, 93% of Latinos in Nevada did not vote for Trump.
2. The entrance poll has a very, very small sample size of Latino Republicans, perhaps only 130, which means that even if everything else is perfect in its methodology, it carries a +/- 8.5% points on the Latino sample. Further, the Nevada entrance polls are not designed to get accurate subgroup vote share estimates, but rather report on statewide numbers, so their design is not trying to capture a representative sample of Latino Republicans, which adds some amount of unknown bias, beyond the +/- 8.5%. [Latino Decisions, 2/24/16]
FiveThirtyEight: The Poll May Have A Margin Of Error Above 10 Percentage Points And Is “Not Politically Representative Of The Larger Hispanic Community.”In a February 24 article, FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver and Harry Enten explained that due to the entrance poll's sample size, which “is somewhere between 100 and 200 people” the sample was “not politically representative of the larger Hispanic community”:
Did Trump win Hispanics in Nevada? You can be sure that Trump will tell us he did! There was a lot of nerd-fighting over who won the Hispanic vote in the Democratic caucuses in Nevada, and we suspect there will be some over the Republican caucuses as well. Indeed, the entrance poll had Trump beating Rubio 45 percent to 28 percent among Hispanics. But keep in mind that the sample size on that result is somewhere between 100 and 200 people. That means the margin of sampling error for the Hispanic subgroup is near +/- 10 percentage points (or even higher). Perhaps more importantly, just 8 percent of Republican voters were Hispanic (or 1 percent of the Nevadan Hispanic population), and they are not politically representative of the larger Hispanic community. [FiveThirtyEight, 2/24/16]