5.28.2008

Puerto Rico Primary Poll Questioned

In a poll of Puerto Rico voters published today in the island's El Vocero daily, Hillary Clinton holds a 13 point advantage Barack Obama with just days before Puerto Rico's June 1st primary -- 51% to 38%.

If accurate, Hillary will easily win the Puerto Rico derby.

However, I do have questions about the integrity of the Vocero-Univision poll and here's why:

1) The Vocero poll is a co-production with Univison, a NYC and Miami-based Spanish-language television company owned by staunch Clinton partisan and financial backer Haim Saban.

2) The Vocero poll article is curiously missing basic poll information, including sample size, margin of error, and actual groups surveyed (residents, registered voter, likely voters, etc.). A search of the Univision and Univision PR websites turned up empty. Unfortunately, without the poll's particulars there's no way to properly judge the information presented--and that information/data could be inaccurate, misleading or worse.

For example, the poll found that only 43% of respondents will definitely vote, but it's not clear if those are the views of the general public, registered voters or likely voters--my guess is that it's of the general public. It's also not clear if the 51% favoring Hillary and the 38% favoring Obama reflects the views of the whole surveyed group or of a subgroup such 'likely voters'.

3) It's clear from my viewing of Univision's coverage of the Clinton-Obama contest that the network favors Clinton. For example, it was Univision's late minute debate "offer" that has been used to score cheap political points against Barack Obama, and it was Univision that has given Hillary a pass on her flip-flopping on licenses for undocumented workers, militarizing the US-Mexico border, the Iraq War, etc.

For argument's sake, let's assume that the poll is accurate and the people surveyed are registered voters. If 100% of the 43% planning to vote vote, a bit over 1 million islanders will cast votes on Sunday. If they vote in accordance with the poll results, Hillary will receive 510,000 votes to Obama's 380,000. A big victory but not enough to erase Obama's hefty delegate advantage.

Obama will end June 1st about 22 delegates short of winning the nomination, while Hillary will be short about 210. Favored in the final primaries of June 3rd in Montana and South Dakota, Obama will win the necessary 2025 delegates and lock-up the nomination.

Hillary will be the official loser. But so will be Puerto Rico if the voters of the commonwealth miss an historic opportunity to vote for true change.