October 29, 2014

Latino Support for Democrats Falls, but Democratic Advantage Remains

Chapter 3: Latinos and the Political Parties

Democrats have lost ground since 2012 among Latino registered voters on two measures of support: party affiliation and which party has more concern for Latinos. Nonetheless, Democrats maintain a wide advantage over Republicans on these measures, as Democratic losses have not necessarily translated into Republican gains. For example, the share of Latino voters who say the Republican Party has more concern for Latinos has not changed much in recent years, while more now see no difference between the two parties.

Which Party Has More Concern for Hispanics?

Larger Share of Latino Voters See No Difference between Parties in Concern for Latinos; but Democrats Still DominateToday, half (50%) of Latino registered voters say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos than the Republican Party, according to the new survey. Meanwhile, about a third (35%) say there is no difference between the parties, and just 10% say the Republican Party has more concern.

But the share of Hispanic registered voters who say the Democratic Party has more concern for Hispanics than the Republican Party is down from two years ago. In 2012, 61% of Hispanic voters said Democrats had more concern (Lopez and Gonzalez-Barrera, 2012). Meanwhile, the share of Hispanic voters who see no difference between the parties on the measure is up, from 23% in 2012 to 35% today.

Democrats Seen as More Concerned for Latinos than Republicans across Most Latino Demographic SubgroupsViews on the concern parties have for Latinos vary according to party affiliation. Among Latino registered voters who identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, two-thirds (67%) say their own party has more concern for Latinos than the Republican Party, while a quarter (25%) say there is no difference and just 4% say the Republican Party has more concern. Meanwhile, 45% of Latino voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party say there is no difference between the parties. Among this group, 26% say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos while 25% say the Republican Party does.

Across all other major demographic subgroups of Hispanic registered voters, the Democratic Party is seen as having more concern for Hispanics. For example 54% of women and 46% of men say the Democratic Party has more concern, while 33% and 37%, respectively, say there is no difference between the two parties. One-in-ten women (8%) and men (12%) say the Republican Party has more concern for Latinos.

About half of both U.S.-born (51%) and immigrant (49%) Hispanic registered voters say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos. Meanwhile, one-third of the U.S. born (34%) and a similar share of the foreign born (36%) say there is no difference between the parties. One-tenth of both groups say the Republican Party has more concern for Hispanics.

There are no significant differences by age group over which party has more concern for Latinos. Some 58% of those ages 65 and older, 50% of those ages 18 to 29 and ages 50 to 64, and 47% of those ages 30 to 49 say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos. Some 39% of those ages 30 to 49 say they see no difference, while 35% of those ages 18 to 29, 31% of those ages 50 to 64 and 28% of those ages 65 and older say the same. Meanwhile, 15% of those ages 50 to 64 say the Republican Party has more concern for Latinos than the Democratic Party as do 9% of those ages 30 to 49 and ages 65 and older, and 8% of young voters ages 18 to 29.

Registered voters of Mexican and other Hispanic origin groups also have similar views about the parties’ concern for Hispanics. About half of Mexican (49%) and non-Mexican (51%) voters say the Democratic Party has more concern for Hispanics, while 37% of Mexicans and 33% of non-Mexicans say there is no difference between the two parties. Only about one-in-ten Mexicans (8%) and non-Mexicans (12%) say the Republican Party has more concern for Hispanics.

About half of Hispanic registered voters of all educational backgrounds say the Democratic Party has more concern for Hispanics—52% of those with at least some college education, 46% of those with a high school degree and 51% of those with less than a high school degree say so. Views on which party has more concern for Latinos also differ by views of the country’s direction.

Among Latino registered voters, 61% of those who are “satisfied” with the way things are going in the country today say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos than the Republican Party, while about three-in-ten (29%) believe there is no difference between the parties. Just 7% say the Republican Party has more concern for Latinos than the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Latino voters who are “dissatisfied” with the country’s direction are split in their views. Some 44% view the Democratic Party as having more concern for Latinos, while 40% see no difference between the two parties. Just 12% say the Republican Party has more concern.

About half (52%) of Latino registered voters who say they have thought “quite a lot” about the coming election say the Democratic Party has more concern for Hispanics. This group is also more likely to say the Republican Party has more concern for Hispanics (15%) than those who say they have only thought “some” or “a little” about the election (8%). About three-in-ten (31%) of those who say they have thought a lot about the election see no difference between the parties on this measure as do 37% Of those who have thought only some or little about it.

Party Affiliation among Hispanic Registered Voters

Affiliation with Democratic Party among Hispanics Has Leveled Off, Republican Party Is Gaining GroundAfter reaching a record high in 2012, identification with the Democratic Party among Latino registered voters has returned to 2010 levels. According to the survey, 63% of Latino registered voters today say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the share of Latino registered voters who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party has increased over the last few years, reaching 27% today, up from 20% in 2011.

Political party affiliation varies across demographic subgroups of Hispanic registered voters. But Democrats hold an advantage across all major subgroups.

Among Hispanic registered voters who say they are “satisfied” with the way things are going in the country today, 73% say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 21% say the same of the Republican Party. By contrast, 55% of Hispanic registered voters “dissatisfied” with the nation’s direction affiliate with Democrats, compared with 33% who affiliate with Republicans.

Among Hispanics who are registered to vote, women are more likely than men to identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, by a margin of 70% to 54%. Conversely, men are more likely to identify with or lean toward Republican than women (34% vs. 22%).

Party Affiliation in 2014, by Demographic GroupRoughly seven-in-ten (69%) Latino voters ages 65 years or older affiliate with the Democratic Party, while about a quarter (23%) identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. By contrast, 58% of young Latino voters under age 30 identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while 35% affiliate with the Republican Party.

There are no significant differences in party affiliation among those of Mexican and other Hispanic origin groups. Some six-in-ten (59%) Mexican-origin Hispanics identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, while a similar share of Hispanics of other origin groups (66%) also affiliate with the party. Meanwhile, about three-in-ten (27%) Mexican and non-Mexican registered voters affiliate with the Republican Party.

Comparable shares of Latino registered voters of all educational backgrounds affiliate with each political party. About six-in-ten of those with at least some college education (62%) or with a high school degree (59%) identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, as do 68% of those with less than a high school education. Meanwhile, 29% with some college education, 28% with a high school diploma, and 22% with less than high school education say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party.