MIAMI, March 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the number of Hispanic voters in the U.S. topping 27 million this year – and immigration playing a pivotal role in the national debate – the impact of this rapidly growing demographic on the 2016 election is expected to be decisive.
To better gauge public opinion of the Latino population – and its impact on the U.S. political process – FIU's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs has launched the Latino Public Opinion Forum – the first university initiative in Florida to systematically study the growth and impact of the Latino population.
On Thursday, the forum will unveil its first national poll results – focusing on Latino opinions about Republican frontrunner Donald Trump - in a special media webcast scheduled for 2 p.m. The webcast will feature Eduardo Gamarra, a professor in FIU's Department of Politics and International Relations and a founder of the initiative, Brian Fonseca, director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and Andres Arias, senior vice president of product and operations for Adsmovil, a mobile advertising company that specializes in reaching the U.S. Hispanic population.
Using first-party data and the latest digital marketing techniques, the first poll reached more than 9,000 U.S. Hispanics through their mobile phones.
"Latino voters will be critical to the outcome of this U.S. presidential election, as well as many other races," Gamarra said. "Disproportionately high rates of smartphone adoption and usage among Hispanics mean that mobile polling is necessary to achieve a fuller understanding of this demographic."
"Mobile holds the key to reaching U.S. Hispanics at scale," said Arias of Adsmovil. "Compared to other ethnic groups, Hispanics over-index in smartphone ownership as well as mobile web and app usage, which leads to unusually high levels of poll participation on mobile devices."
FIU pioneered this area of study two decades ago with its Cuba Poll, the longest running research project tracking the opinions of Cuban-Americans in South Florida, creating the most complete picture of Cuban-American political attitudes over time.
The Latino Public Opinion Forum will build upon this work by broadening the scope of inquiry to other rapidly growing Latino populations, including Central Americans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.
"Over the past two decades, the size of these other Latino populations in Florida has grown significantly,'' Gamarra said. "The Latino Public Opinion Forum is aimed at building on the strength of our research in public opinions of Cuban-Americans and closing the knowledge gap about other Latinos."
FIU's Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, Cuban Research Institute, Metropolitan Center, Department of Politics and International Relations and Department of Global and Socio-Cultural Studies are also partners in the project.
SOURCE Florida International University