BY ROBYN WAPNER
The Washington-based think tank Atlantic Council released a poll last month that has been touted by many as marking an unprecedented shift in support for a change in U.S. policy toward Cuba. Media outlets, including the L.A. Times, jumped on the bandwagon, citing the poll as evidence that Americans are now eager for engagement. But a closer look shows that many of the most consequential results of the poll are based on push-polling tactics.
Push polling is the craft of designing survey questions to shape and influence the results. In this case, several questions in the Atlantic Council Cuba poll appear to “push” respondents toward assuming a position against current U.S. policy.
Nothing about U.S. relations with Cuba is simple. The many facets of our estrangement span such a spectrum of interests and time that few have a clear understanding of the intricate web of current policy.