A new poll released today by Latino Decisions in partnership with impreMedia raised transparency questions about whether the organization’s professional ties to the Hillary Clinton campaign had influenced the findings. The poll, which listed selected presidential candidates’ favorability numbers with Latino voters and showed Clinton with an overwhelming lead, initially did not disclose that Latino Decisions co-founders Matt Barreto and Gary Segura had been hired in the summer to work for the Clinton campaign. When Latino USA contacted Latino Decisions for clarification about the whether the poll was connected to the Clinton campaign, Barreto replied via email and said that a disclaimer was being added:
I just added this note to the blog post, sorry we did not include this earlier:
Disclosure note: This project was directed by Dr. Sylvia Manzano, Principal at Latino Decisions, on behalf of the Spanish-language news company impreMedia. Earlier in 2015, Matt Barreto and Gary Segura of Latino Decisions were hired as consultants to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. This project is in no way connected or coordinated with the Clinton campaign and is an independent research project, as part of Latino Decisions longtime partnership with impreMedia going back to 2009.
impreMedia publishes several Spanish-language newspapers and publications, including La Opinión (Los Angeles) and El Diario (New York).
The poll’s online page (full findings here) included two charts about where presidential candidates stand with a sample of 424 registered Latino voters. In this first chart, Clinton has the highest net favorability (+35), followed by Bernie Sanders (+19), Ben Carson (+9) and Jeb Bush (+5). Carly Fiorina had a negative favorability of –3 with Martin O’Malley at –8 (the only Democrat with negative numbers). Marco Rubio had the same –8 number as O’Malley, while Ted Cruz was at –16 and Donald Trump was at –56.
In the second chart, which focused on battleground states, Clinton’s favorability numbers were the highest at 62%, followed by Bush (42%), Sanders (39%), Rubio (32%), Carson (25%), Fiorina (25%) and Cruz (24%). The second chart also showed Trump at 15% and O’Malley in the final slot at 10%.
Latino USA also spoke with Sylvia Manzano, the lead Latino Decisions principal for the impreMedia survey. Manzano did confirm that although both Barreto and Segura are consultants to the Clinton campaign, “the rest of the Latino Decisions research team continues our work independent of our colleagues’ campaign work.”
“We [Latino Decisions] do not coordinate with the Clinton campaign in any way on our polling and research,” Manzano wrote via email. “As I mentioned in our call earlier this afternoon, the share of Latino voters with a favorable view of with a favorable view of Clinton is consistent with our November 2014 Election Eve poll (page 9, Q 22), where 64% had a favorable view of her.”
Manzano also added this in a previous email: “The rest of our team [including me] is working on other unrelated projects, and we do not coordinate or run our results by the Clinton campaign in any way. In this case, I directed the Latino Battleground project in coordination with impreMedia, one of our long-time partners on tracking polls. Gary and Matt were not working this project.”