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Hispanics Identify More With Democratic Party

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A new Gallup poll shows that Hispanic-Americans identify with the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by a nearly 2-to-1 margin:

PRINCETON, NJ — Hispanics of all ages in the U.S. today are more than twice as likely to identify with or lean to the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. However, younger Hispanics are slightly more likely to be independent, and are more likely to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, compared with older Hispanics. These patterns highlight the challenges the Republican Party faces in the years ahead as the Hispanic percentage of the potential electorate expands.

These data are based on an analysis of 7,901 Hispanic respondents interviewed in English or Spanish as part of Gallup Daily tracking between Jan. 3 and June 27, 2013.

The importance of the Hispanic vote to leaders of both parties is seen in the increasing number of Hispanics who will be in the voting-age population in the years ahead, as the current “bulge” of Hispanics under the age of 18 reaches adulthood. U.S. Census Bureau data show that 33.2% of Hispanics living in the U.S. are under the age of 18, compared with 19.7% of non-Hispanic whites. Calculations based on census data also show that between 2010 and 2015, the U.S. Hispanic population under the age of 25 is expected to grow by about 14%, while the non-Hispanic white population of the same age is expected to decrease by about 0.5%.

Chris Cillizza comments:

[W]e’ve noted in this space, overhauling immigration law is not a cure-all for the GOP. Hispanics are not single-minded in their policy focus. But not tackling reform is not going to do any favors for a GOP already struggling for a positive image in most of the Hispanic community.

And it could also mean squandering an opportunity for the future. The Gallup data show that courting young Hispanics is not a lost cause for Republicans. Is it an uphill climb? Absolutely. But impossible? No. And we ware talking about a youthful group that will be voting in elections for years and in many cases decades to come.

The flip side, of course, is the reality that Hispanics are more closely aligned with the Democratic Party right now. And Republicans who don’t feel the political urgency to do reform (or outright oppose such efforts) could point to the very same numbers as a reason for why rushing ahead isn’t going to fix the party’s political problems.

One point worth noting, though, is that not all hope is lost for the GOP given the number of Hispanic voters who continue to identify as Independent:

Hispanic Chart

If the GOP could attract some significant part of those who self-identify as Independent then they’d be far more competitive among Latinos than they are today. The problem, of course, is that they’re making no real effort to do so, and their current obstructionist issue on immigration and all of the issues related to it makes it less likely that they are going to do so. If that trend continues, then they are likely to push many of those Independents in the Democratic camp, which for some reason is exactly what the seem to want to do.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. al-Ameda says:

    This is not surprising when you consider the likelihood that a majority of Republicans favor the deportation of 12 million illegals, and who also believe a 13 year path to citizenship replete with onerous conditions is too liberal.

    Hard to believe that 9 years ago Hispanics voted 40% for the Republican presidential candidate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  2. Caj says:

    Hello! Should that be a surprise? The Republican Party make their real feelings obvious toward Latino’s each time they open their mouths! They don’t like them or want them in their party. All they want are their votes. Democrats at least really do have a big tent. Republicans don’t need anything bigger than a very small sleeping bag!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. michael reynolds says:

    It’s funny how when you say, “Go away, I hate you!” to people, they end up not liking you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  4. superdestroyer says:

    Latinos have been very loyal Democrats for decades. As has been pointed out in the past, when GW Bush was elected over 90% of elected Latinos were Democrats and not a single Republican in the Texas State House or Senate was Latino. The idea that the Republicans can lose something that they never had is laughable.

    What no one seems to want to ask is how can the more conservative party appeal to a demographic group when the group is very liberal.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 4

  5. bill says:

    free is bueno! hey, mariachi’s & sopapillas……

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  6. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The idea that the Republicans can lose something that they never had is laughable.

    That you dismiss the fact that in the 2004 presidential election Hispanics voted over 40% for George W Bush as being nothing, is even more laughable.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    How many times does the 40% plus number have to be debunked. At best Bush II received less than 40% and a 20% plus loss is called a rout in politics. Adding millions of additional Latino voters in hopes of getting 1/3 of their votes is a sure path to failure. The Republicans are going to need a higher percentage of the white vote to stay relevant and passing comprehensive immigration reform just means that they will need an even higher percentage of the white vote. Yet, how do the Republicans get a higher percentage of the white vote by pandering to Latinos while throwing middle class whites under the bus?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  8. Ben Wolf says:

    Republicans don’t win the Hispanic vote because Hispanics are not welcome there, the same reason they don’t receive the LGBT vote or the African-American vote or the non-christian vote. If you are not born with a specific genetic make-up and a specific religion and a specific gender they reject you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  9. JohnMcC says:

    Mr Gallop’s polling done in June ’12 showed that immigration is not very high on the list of issues that Hispanic voters named as important. It was significantly more important on a poll of ALL Hispanic Americans (third behind ‘healthcare’ and ‘unemployment’). But limiting the responses to only those who declared themselves likely voters, ‘economic growth’ and the wealth gap were more important. Immigration reform was roughly tied with ‘federal deficit’ as the fifth-ranked concern. In a Pew poll following the election in ’12, 18% of Hispanic voters indicated that they thought undocumented aliens should be deported — a not inconsiderable number. The ‘National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health’ hired Lake Research Partners to poll showed that far from being the socially-conservative bloc that Repubs assume them to be, 74% of Hispanic voters “agree that a woman has a right to make her own personal, private decision about abortion” and that 68% (when reminded of Catholic teaching) say “when it comes to the law, I believe it should remain legal.”

    Hispanics are and have been for a long time a strongly liberal/democratic portion of our country. And IMHO, they make my country much more colorful and interesting and a more pleasant place for me to live.

    I say to the Hispanic (and all other immigrants to he US) THANK YOU for coming to my country. We are a better nation because you are here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  10. bill says:

    i thought “hispanics” were white anyway? he nyts & cnn said so for the past year. my son in law is hispanic, and very white- i think he’d check “white” if asked on an application for something.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Barry says:

    Doug, I’d like to point out that that poll is interesting compared with the exit polling. The latter had the breakdown as 70-30 Democratic-Republican. The ‘independent’ group seems to have broken for the Democrats almost 100%.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0