Immigrant and U.S.-Born Hispanics Tilt Democratic
Politics

Immigrant and U.S.-Born Hispanics Tilt Democratic

by Frank Newport and Joy Wilke

Hispanic immigrants to U.S. more likely than native-born to be independent

PRINCETON, NJ -- Hispanics in the U.S. identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party over the Republican Party by about a 2-to-1 margin, regardless of whether they were U.S.-born. Hispanics born outside the U.S. do have slightly less attachment to either party, and are more likely to be politically independent, but these differences do little to alter the basic underlying advantage Democrats enjoy across the entire Hispanic population.

Party ID of Hispanics, by Number of Generations in U.S., June-July 2013

These results are from Gallup's Minority Rights and Relations survey conducted June 13-July 5, 2013, and are based on interviews with 1,000 Hispanics. Overall, 51% of Hispanic adults interviewed in the survey were born outside of the U.S. Another 20% of Hispanic respondents were born in the U.S., but one or both of their parents were born outside of the U.S., and 29% say that they and both of their parents are U.S.-born.

Hispanics, by Generations in the U.S., June-July 2013

In response to the initial party identification question -- before independents are asked which party they lean toward -- 46% of Hispanics not born in the United States identify as independents, compared with 37% among those born in the U.S. Still, immigrant Hispanics with a preference identify with the Democratic over the Republican Party, by 37% to 15%.

Party ID Among Hispanics, by Number of Generations in U.S., June-July 2013

Hispanics Not Born in U.S. Give Obama Higher Job Approval Ratings

Hispanics born outside the United States have significantly more positive reactions to President Barack Obama's job performance than do first- or subsequent-generation U.S. Hispanics. The 79% approval rating immigrants give Obama drops to 60% among those born in the U.S. but with at least one parent born elsewhere, and to 59% among those who, along with both parents, are U.S.-born. Still, all Hispanics, regardless of nativity, give Obama approval ratings well above the 51% average among all national adults in this June-July survey.

Presidential Approval Among Hispanics, by Number of Generations in U.S., June-July 2013

Life Satisfaction Lower Among Hispanic Immigrants

Immigrant Hispanics are more likely to be satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. than are U.S.-born Hispanics, perhaps reflecting their worldview, comparing U.S. conditions with the ones they left behind. On the other hand, these non-native Hispanics are slightly less likely to be satisfied with their personal lives than are other Hispanics, probably explained by these immigrants' much lower educational and income levels.

Hispanics' Satisfaction With U.S. and Life, June-July 2013

Over three-quarters of Hispanic immigrants have a high school education or less, and two-thirds make less than $3,000 a month. These low levels of socioeconomic attainment are starkly different from the significantly higher levels of educational and income attainment among the other two groups of Hispanics.

Education and Income of U.S. Hispanics, June-July 2013

Implications

Hispanic immigrants are more likely to identify as independents and slightly less likely to identify as Republicans than are Hispanics born in the U.S., but all Hispanics -- regardless of nativity -- remain significantly more Democratic than Republican, by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

Hispanic immigrants' particularly positive evaluation of President Obama is moderated somewhat when it comes to Hispanics who are U.S.-born, but Hispanics as a whole give Obama a higher approval rating than national adults do.

This significant Democratic advantage among Hispanics, regardless of whether they are U.S.-born or immigrants, suggests that simply waiting for Hispanics to assimilate will not be a successful strategy for Republicans hoping to capture a greater percentage of the Hispanic vote.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 13-July 5, 2013, with a random sample of 4,373 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±2 percentage points.

For results based on the total sample of 1,000 Hispanics, one can say with 95% confidence that the margin of sampling error is ±6 percentage points.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking.

Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, non-response, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cell phone-only/landline only/both and cell phone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

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