Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

Just how independent are Latino voters?

Photo by nathangibbs/Flickr (Creative Commons)

So are Latino voters as solidly behind President Obama as recent polls have indicated, or is there still wiggle room for the GOP before November? A new USA Today/Gallup poll would suggest the latter, but it's necessary to read the fine print.

According to the poll conducted in April and May, 51 percent of Latino respondents overall self-identified as "political independents." Only 32 percent identified as Democrats, and 11 percent as Republicans. Once pressed on which way they lean politically, however, many more leaned Democratic, as did the registered voters. From the poll results:

Screen shot from Gallup.com


There are some interesting side notes. According to Gallup, the poll results "confirm a growing trend toward independent political identification among U.S. Hispanics in recent years, surpassing the 50% mark in 2011" and mirroring a national trend in the general population.

The Latino voters most likely to swing? Naturalized U.S. citizens. According to Gallup, those who are immigrants are "much more likely" than U.S.-born Latinos to lack attachment to one political party. And of the poll respondents, 49 percent said they were born outside the United States. Twenty-two percent said they were born in the U.S. of one or two immigrant parents, while another 22 percent said they were third-generation, with both parents born in the U.S.

This also from the poll results: "All groups show much greater identification with the Democratic than the Republican Party, though each succeeding generation of Hispanics is more likely to identify as Republican than the prior one." However, although the GOP can and has made inroads among "more established" Latinos, they "still trail Democrats by a wide margin among those who have been in the United States for two or more generations."

Read the entire poll results here.

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