The results of this election on November 8 were a surprise to many. But now there is growing concern over the widespread misrepresentation by top media outlets of the final results for one particular segment of the vote: the Latino vote.
The media are reporting that the Latino vote broke 65% to 29% for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Those numbers differ wildly from what virtually every reputable poll reported up to Election Day. The consensus of polls leading into election night was that Trump had the support of less than 20% of Latinos nationwide.
How could the exit polling and the media get it so wrong?
The media rely on Edison Research, the firm granted an exclusive contract to conduct exit polling on behalf of the National Election Pool (NEP), a consortium of the major media networks. Edison Research has not disclosed the data and methodology behind its election day exit polling, prompting more questions than answers. We also know that Edison Research has made mistakes before with its exit poll reporting.
It’s incumbent upon any polling organization, but especially one which has a monopoly over the reporting, to provide an accurate assessment of exit polling data for a presidential election. Right now, there is little transparency regarding Edison Research’s survey of Latino voters. It’s hard to believe the results being reported by the media when they are in such conflict with all of the reliable polling done up to election day.
I’m reaching out to Edison Research to request the data and methodology behind its reporting and I urge media networks to do the same.
U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-34) is Chair of the Democratic Caucus. He issued this statement following a briefing he hosted on Latino vote data analysis — with a presentation by Co-Founder of Latino Decisions Dr. Matt Barreto — for House Democratic Members.