Exile Politics and Republican Party Affiliation: The Case of Cuban Americans in Miami*


  • We acknowledge the assistance of Alfred DeMaris, Department of Sociology, Bowling Green State University, who supplied matrix algebra commands for the Clogg test of differences in coefficients across nested models.

Direct correspondence to Chris Girard, Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies, Florida International University, 11200 SW 8th St., Miami, FL 33199 〈girardc@fiu.edu〉.



We test the hypothesis that exile politics—measured by support for anti-Castro policies—contribute to the overwhelming preference for the Republican Party among South Florida's Cuban Americans.


Logistic regression is used to analyze six surveys conducted in South Florida between 1995 and December 2008.


Among Cuban Americans in Miami-Dade County, measures of exile politics account for a recent downward shift in Republican registration, as well as for much of the variation in Republican registration by race and age. Also, measures of exile politics partly explain differences between Cubans and non-Cubans with regard to partisan preference.


Although some scholars argue that domestic issues have taken a back seat in guiding party preferences for Miami's Cubans, a decline in support for anti-Castro policies appears to have created a greater opening for domestic concerns in the 2008 election cycle.