October 5, 2010

Latinos and the 2010 Elections: Strong Support for Democrats; Weak Voter Motivation

III. The Political Parties

Despite losing ground among all registered voters, the Democratic Party continues to hold a wide lead over the Republican Party among Latino registered voters. In political party identification, the Democrats hold a 37 percentage point advantage. And when asked which party has more concern for Latinos, Democrats continue to be seen as the better party, though the Democratic lead is slightly diminished since 2008.

Political Party Affiliation

According to the new survey, more than six-in-ten (62%) of Latino registered voters say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party while just 25% say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. This is in contrast to the partisan identification profile of the nation as a whole. According to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press (2010b), among all registered voters, 49% identify with or lean toward the Democrats, and 44% identify with or lean toward the Republicans.

Majorities of all demographic groups of Latino registered voters self-identify as Democrats. However, significant shares of some are aligned with the Republican Party. More than three-inten Latino registered voters who have given the election quite a lot of thought (35%), are English dominant (33%), or have a high school diploma (31%) identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.

Which Party Has More Concern for Latinos?

When asked which party has more concern for Hispanics, Latino registered voters identify the Democratic Party as the better party—nearly half (47%) say so. In contrast, just 6% see the Republican Party as more concerned about Latinos.

Views about the parties and their concern for Latinos have remained relatively stable throughout the past decade. From 2002 to 2007, pluralities of Latino registered voters said the Democrats were better for Hispanics, and in 2008, a majority (55%) said so. And since 2004, the share of Latino registered voters who said the Republicans are more concerned for Hispanics than Democrats has fallen from 11% then to 6% today.

Pluralities of just about all demographic groups among Latino registered voters see the Democrats as better for Hispanics. Even among Latino registered voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, just 18% say the Republican Party is better for Latinos than the Democratic Party, while 62% say they see no difference between the two parties.