HUFFPOLLSTER: Obamacare Expands Coverage For Latinos

03/26/2015 07:55 am ET | Updated Mar 26, 2015
Tim Boyle via Getty Images

Obamacare has increased health coverage for Latinos, yet one in four remain uninformed about ACA marketplaces. Ted Cruz falls ideologically in line with Republican voters in key primary states. And a report claims Hillary Clinton will hire 1,000 data geeks. This is HuffPollster for Thursday, March 26, 2015.

NEW SURVEY MEASURES OBAMACARE IMPACT ON LATINOS - Gabriel Sanchez, Francisco Pedraza and Edward Vargas: "Results from the new survey, entitled the 'RWJF Center for Health Policy National Latino Health and Immigration Survey,' indicate that the ACA has decreased the percentage of Latinos who are uninsured. Only 17 percent of sampled Latino adults lack health insurance, down from 28 percent who were uninsured according to a study conducted by RWJF-CHP and Latino Decisions in 2013 before the first open enrollment period of the ACA. The new poll finding suggests that the ACA has improved the health status for Latinos by extending coverage to previously uninsured Latinos. However, the new data also provide some caveats to this overall trend....First, a large segment of the Latino population is experiencing underinsurance or gaps in coverage. When asked whether they were covered for the entire year or if they went without coverage for part of the year, only 64 percent of Latinos said they were covered for the entire year....Second.... while 87 percent of Latinos who were born in the United States are currently insured, only 78 percent of foreign-born Latinos are currently covered." [HuffPost]

Low information about marketplaces, no gain in views of ACA - More from Sanchez, Pedraza: "Possibly the most surprising finding from the new survey, and a direct assessment of the effectiveness of the marketing and outreach of the ACA, was the relatively low information about the marketplaces. Even after two years of open enrollment opportunities and all the outreach efforts by the Obama administration, fully 25 percent of Latinos (one in four) in our national sample indicate that they heard "nothing at all" about the health insurance marketplaces or exchanges, and another 28 percent indicated that they have heard 'not that much.'...Finally, we asked respondents to tell us whether they think their personal healthcare situation will improve, stay the same, or get worse under the ACA....We found that 77 percent of Latinos in the current survey believe their ability to get and keep health insurance will at least stay the same (44 percent) or get better (33 percent), a slight decrease from 2013 when 37 percent of Latinos indicated they thought their ability to access insurance would get better. When asked about the quality of their health care, 34 percent of Latinos think quality will improve under the ACA, compared with 43 percent who said the quality of their care will stay the same. This is almost identical to what we found in 2013." [HuffPost]

EXTREME WINTER DOESN'T CONVINCE AMERICANS OF CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS - Lydia Saad: "Although climate scientists have been in the news describing this winter as a strong signal that global warming is producing more extreme weather, Americans are no more likely today (55%) than in the past two years to believe the effects of global warming are occurring… The 2014-2015 winter season brought record warm temperatures to the Western U.S. while it delivered record cold to much of the rest of the country and record snowfall in the East. However, this winter has neither created an uptick in new believers that the effects of global warming are manifest nor reduced the ranks of skeptics. A third of Americans believe the effects of global warming will either never happen (16%) or not happen in their lifetime (17%), about the same as in March 2014… Just over a third believe global warming will pose a serious threat to their way of life in their lifetime, a slight majority believe the seriousness of global warming is either underestimated or reported correctly in the news, and a similar majority believe global warming is the result of human activities rather than natural causes." [Gallup]

TED CRUZ IS CONSERVATIVE, BUT COMPATIBLE WITH REPUBLICAN VOTERS - Robert Lupton and Christopher Hare: "Dan Balz has written that [Sen. Ted] Cruz’s candidacy 'tests the limits of conservatism,' and based on his congressional roll call voting record, Cruz is the fourth-most-conservative member of the Senate. But how does his ideological position compare to those of Republican primary voters, especially in early states such as Iowa and New Hampshire? Very favorably.... The 2014 CCES [Cooperative Congressional Election Study] asked respondents to place themselves and several political figures, including Cruz and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, on a seven-point ideological scale ranging from 'very liberal' to 'very conservative.'... In a box-and-whisker plot, the range between the 25th and 75th percentile values is shown using a box, while the median value is shown using a dot inside the box. That is, 50 percent of Republican voters in each of these states have ideological scores within the corresponding box.... We use the solid vertical lines to mark the ideological scores of Bush (light red) and Cruz (dark red). Immediately clear is that Cruz is quite ideologically in-line with Republican voters in these four states. In fact, his estimated ideological score is to the left of (i.e., more liberal than) the median Republican in Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. Instead, Bush is the candidate who appears to be the most ideologically out of step with Republican primary electorates in these four states. His score places him to the left of at least 70 percent of Republican voters in every state." [WashPost]


CLINTON TO ASSEMBLE 'NERD SQUAD' - Darren Samuelson: "Hillary Clinton is assembling a technology team that signals a significant departure from her 2008 presidential run, led by Obama veterans and geared toward recasting her analog-era image. With the hiring of 2012 Obama campaign alumni Teddy Goff as chief digital strategist, Elan Kriegel as analytics director and Andrew Bleeker as a top outside adviser, the campaign is indicating a greater emphasis on the kinds of cutting-edge techniques that both parties now routinely use to tap into every possible fundraising dollar and seek out every available voter. Just as important, the new hires point to a candidate who’s learned from a 2008 campaign marked by its inability to harness technology to its advantage. The presumptive Democratic front-runner is building a New York-based campaign that senior party operatives say could ultimately be staffed with more than 1,000 data geeks, techies and digital gurus. Interviews for more tech-focused slots are happening “on the half hour for what will be dozens of early hires,” one longtime Clinton aide explained of the operation, which could see its technology fleet grow roughly three times larger than Obama’s 2012 reelection effort." [Politico]

Skepticism about '1,000 data geeks' number - via Twitter:

-Sasha Issenberg: "Defining tech down: does the 1,000 staff figure just include everyone on the campaign whose job involves a computer?" [@victorylab]

-Alex Lundry (R): "1000 data and tech staffers for HRC? This is a laughable claim....HRC campaign showing how little they understand tech and data by leaking 1000 employee # that no one who works in this biz believes....In August of 2012 the Obama campaign had 901 people on its staff" [@alexlundry here, here and here; LA Times on Obama staff]

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THURSDAY'S 'OUTLIERS' - Links to the best of news at the intersection of polling, politics and political data:

-PPP (D) finds the Florida Senate race looks to be a tossup if Marco Rubio doesn't run. [PPP]

-Just over a third of Americans would back an Iran nuclear deal, but the same number say they don't know enough about it yet. [YouGov]

-Larry Sabato argues that the email controversy won't hurt Hillary Clinton. [Crystal Ball]

-Harry Enten notes that while pundits described candidate Ronald Reagan as unelectable, he was a favorite among Republican primary voters. [538]

-John Sides delves even deeper into the potential impact of mandatory voting. [Wash Post]

-When data journalism amounts to 108,000,000,000 ÷ 12,000,000 = 9,000. [HuffPost]

-An interactive graphic compares the U.S. to the rest of the world on religious restrictions. [Pew]

-Support for paying college athletes is divided along race. [The Guardian]

-A quarter of Americans still think "kick me" signs are funny. [Harris]

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