According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll conducted on Dec. 17-21, 2014 over land line and mobile phones among 1,011 adults, an overwhelming majority of Americans are in favor of establishing diplomatic ties with Cuba while growing majorities want a stop to travel bans to Cuba.
The national survey finds little erosion in public support after President Obama announced sweeping changes in U.S.-Cuba policy, despite his weak approval ratings nationally. Sixty-four percent support establishing ties with Cuba, similar to 66 percent in a 2009 Post-ABC poll asking whether the United States should do so.
Sixty-eight percent support ending the trade embargo with Cuba — up 11 points from 2009 — and 74 percent support ending travel restrictions to Cuba — a jump of 19 points from five years ago. The poll described each policy in general and did not mention Obama’s action, maintaining broad comparability to previous surveys.
Support for allowing trade and travel with Cuba has grown across the board, even among Republicans, who were most skeptical. In 2009, 36 percent of Republicans said the United States should end the trade embargo and 40 percent favored an end to travel restrictions. But support has grown more than 20 points among Republicans in the years since, with 57 percent now supporting trade with Cuba and 64 percent supporting travel between the countries.
Hispanics are among the most supportive of re-starting diplomatic relations with Cuba; 75 percent support doing so, while 20 percent are opposed. The survey did not include a large enough sample of Hispanics or detailed questions to examine attitudes of Cuban Americans.
A separate survey of Americans with Cuban heritage conducted by Bendixen & Amandi International found the group closely divided on Obama’s decision. Forty-four percent agreed with “Obama’s announcement to begin normalizing relations with Cuba,” while 48 percent disagreed. The survey , sponsored by El Nuevo Herald, the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times, found a clear generational split, with 64 percent of U.S.-born Cubans supporting Obama’s policy while 53 percent of Cuban immigrants opposed it.
The Bendixen & Amadni poll of was conducted Dec. 17-18 among a random national sample of 400 Cuban-American adults reached on conventional and cellular phones. The sample was drawn by oversampling areas where the Census indicates Cubans make up a larger share of the population. Overall results have a margin of sampling error of 4.9 percentage points.
Despite nationwide approval of President Obama’s decision, POTUS may run into a few issues from the GOP controlled Congress, such as a cut funds for new diplomatic operations and denied confirmation to an American ambassador to Cuba. Congress may at very least ensure the ban on most imports and exports between the U.S.A. and Cuba remains in place.
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