October 11, 2016

Democrats Maintain Edge as Party ‘More Concerned’ for Latinos, but Views Similar to 2012

4. Latinos and the political parties

Latino registered voters have long said the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos or Hispanics than the Republican Party, with Democrats losing some ground on this measure since 2012. Over the same period, Democrats have not made significant gains in party affiliation, with 64% of Latino voters identifying with or leaning toward the Democratic Party in 2016, a similar share to 2012 when 70% said the same.

Which party has more concern for Latinos?

Today, 54% of Latino registered voters say the Democratic Party has more concern for Latinos than the Republican Party, while 11% say the Republican Party has more concern – a 43-point difference. The Democratic advantage on this measure has remained relatively stable since 2012, when 61% of Latino voters said Democrats had more concern for Hispanics, compared with 10% who said the same of Republicans. At the same time, 28% of Latino registered voters today say there’s no difference between the two parties on this measure, a share that is relatively unchanged from 2012.

The image of the Republican Party among Latino registered voters is little changed since 2002 on this measure. Back then, 10% of Latino registered voters said Republicans had more concern for Latinos than Democrats, similar to this year’s share (11%). Meanwhile, Democrats have seen their image improve over the same period among Latino registered voters, rising from 45% in 2002 to 54% today.

There are some differences in the views of the political parties among demographic subgroups of Hispanics in 2016. For example, older Hispanics are more likely than younger Hispanics to say the Democratic Party has more concern for Hispanics than the Republican Party. Among registered voters, nearly six-in-ten (59%) non-Millennial Hispanics (ages 36 and older) say Democrats have more concern, compared with 48% of Hispanic Millennials (ages 18 to 35). At the same time, Hispanic Millennial voters are more likely than Hispanic non-Millennial voters to say there is no difference between the parties, 38% compared with 21%. (Roughly equal shares of Hispanic Millennial voters and Hispanic non-Millennial voters – about one-in-ten – say Republicans have more concern for Hispanics.)

There are also differences on this issue by gender, with 60% of Hispanic women voters saying Democrats have more concern for Hispanic than Republicans, compared with 48% of Hispanic men who are registered to vote. Roughly one-third (35%) of Hispanic men who are registered to vote say there is no difference between the parties on the issue, compared with roughly a quarter (23%) of Hispanic women voters.

Immigrant Latino voters are more likely than U.S.-born voters to say Democrats have more concern for Latinos than Republicans. For example, among Latino registered voters, 61% of immigrants say Democrats have more concern for Latinos, compared with 52% of the U.S. born.

Hispanics and political party affiliation

Hispanic registered voters have historically identified more with the Democratic Party than the Republican Party, and 2016 is no different. About two-thirds (64%) of Hispanic voters say they identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 24% who identify as Republican or lean toward the GOP.

Hispanic affiliation with Democrats reached a high in 2012, with 70% identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic that year, a share that has since dropped by several percentage points. During this time, Hispanic party affiliation with Republicans has remained mostly unchanged.

While the Democratic Party holds an advantage in party affiliation among all Hispanic registered voters, some subgroups are more likely to identify with the Democrats than others. Among Hispanic men who are registered to vote, 55% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic and 30% identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP. By comparison, Democrats hold a wider advantage among Hispanic women voters, with 73% identifying as Democrats or leaning Democratic and 18% identifying as Republican or leaning toward the GOP.

Among Latino voters who are foreign born, 70% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic and 18% identify as Republican or lean toward the GOP. By comparison, 62% of U.S.-born Latino voters identify as Democrats or lean Democratic and 26% identify as Republican or lean toward the GOP.

There is a wide gap in party affiliation among supporters of the two major-party candidates for U.S. president. Among Latino registered voters who back Hillary Clinton, 91% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic. By comparison, 88% of Latino registered voters who back Donald Trump identify as Republicans or lean toward the GOP.

Latino registered voters who mainly use Spanish are more likely than others to affiliate with the Democratic Party. Among Spanish-dominant Latino voters, 76% identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 65% of bilingual Latino voters and 59% of English dominant Latino voters.

There are also significant differences in party affiliation by education. Among Latino voters, 82% of those with less than a high school education identify as Democrats or lean Democratic, compared with 58% of high school graduates and 62% with at least some college experience.

Latinos and political ideology

Roughly one-third (32%) of Latino registered voters describe their political views as conservative, while 36% say they are moderate and 28% say they are liberal.

Millennial Latino voters (ages 18 to 35) are more likely than non-Millennial Latino voters (ages 36 and older) to say they are liberal. Among Latino Millennial voters, 37% describe their political views as liberal, compared with 21% among Latino non-Millennial voters.

The biggest difference in political views is between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Among Latino voters who support Trump, 60% say they are conservative, compared with 28% of Latino voters who support Clinton. At the same time, seven-in-ten Latino voters who support Clinton say they are moderate (37%) or liberal (33%). By comparison, among Latino voters who support Trump, 30% describe their views as moderate and 6% say they are liberal.

Latino registered voters who are Spanish dominant are more likely than those who are English dominant or bilingual to say they are conservative. Among Spanish-dominant Latino voters, 45% say they are conservative, compared with 30% among Latino voters who are bilingual or English dominant.

At the same time, U.S.-born Latinos are more likely than immigrant Latinos to describe their political views as liberal. Among registered voters, 32% of U.S.-born Latinos say they are liberal, compared with 17% of foreign-born Latinos.