October 3, 2002

Pew Hispanic Center/Kaiser Family Foundation National Survey Of Latinos

The Hispanic electorate is emerging as a distinct presence on the political landscape, demonstrating broad but shallow party loyalty and a mixture of ideological beliefs and policy positions that defies easy categorization. At a time when the rest of the nation is almost evenly split along partisan lines, Latino voters appear to straddle some of the sharpest divides in American politics today. Though most Latinos identify with the Democratic Party, this party affiliation comes with a notable ambivalence, and on some social issues they express a conservatism that sets them apart from their white counterparts. Similarly, most Latino Republicans voice a preference for a bigger government and higher taxes, which is contrary to the stand taken by an overwhelming majority of white Republicans.

Immigration is transforming the Hispanic electorate with an infusion of voters new to American politics. Latino voters born in the United States take somewhat different views on a number of issues from those born outside the country.