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Monday, February 25, 2013

Hispanics and Party Identification

U.S. Hispanic adults are more than twice as likely to identify as or lean Democratic than Republican, according to Gallup Daily tracking data collected throughout 2012. In total, 51% of Hispanics identified as or leaned Democratic, while a little less than a quarter (24%) identified with or leaned toward the GOP. Twenty percent were wholly independent, with no preferences for either party.
The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking data with 26,264 Hispanics collected from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2012. The politics of the U.S. Hispanic population are becoming increasingly important to the future of both political parties, as the size of this group continues to grow. Many analysts say a strong, Democratically skewed Latino turnout is an important reason for President Barack Obama's re-election victory in November of last year.
Asked initially about political party identification, half of Hispanics (50%) identify as independent/other or are unsure. Thirty-two percent of Hispanics are outright Democrats and 13% are outright Republicans. The Democratic Party clearly enjoys a comfortable advantage in terms of party identification over its rival, the GOP, among Hispanic voters. However, this Democratic edge may not necessarily be permanent, as 50% of Hispanic voters initially identify with neither major political party. However, when accounting for "leaners," -- independents who prefer one party over the other -- 51% of Hispanics identify or lean with the Democratic Party and 24% opt for the Republican Party. For comparison, 79% of blacks identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party.