The early number reported by Fox has been confirmed by an exit poll of Hispanics in Florida, conducted by Bendixen & Amandi: 48% of Cuban Americans told “Patria o Muerte” Mitt Romney to stuff his cafecito where the sun don’t shine.
Ever since the first polls came out in the early 00s showing a shift in attitudes inside the Cuban American community, we’ve heard naysayers from the Mambí geritopundits to the pandering politicos say the same thing: “what about at the ballot box?” Well, here you go. Left jab: Joe Garcia knocks out “El Gangster” Rivera, Right cross: 48% vote Obama –that’s a gain of 13% vs. 2008!– and the hardliners are down in the canvas and crying “Ya no más!”
We all know that for some reason Republicans have become math-challenged (in addition to reality-disabled) this electoral cycle and some will want to question the numbers. (See William’s post.) So have at it, but notice one more thing: the other 52% of Cuban Americans are now isolated in their unconditional support for the GOP. Venezuelans and Nicaraguans, who have been their ideological cousins, also favored Obama this time. Out of power, nearly out of influence and all by themselves: the time is coming when the much-vaunted Cuban vote won’t buy an medianoche, unless hardline leaders have a reckoning and stop selling themselves out so cheap.