FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Molly Rohal, 202-419-4318, mrohal@pewresearch.org

Latino Support for Democrats Falls, but Democratic Advantage Remains
Immigration Not a Deal-Breaker Issue for Half of Latino Voters

After more than a year of inaction by Congress and President Obama on immigration reform, Democrats maintain a wide, but diminished, advantage among Hispanic registered voters, according to a new nationwide Pew Research Center survey of 1,520 Hispanic adults, including 733 registered voters.

In this year’s congressional elections, 57% of Latino registered voters support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district or lean Democratic, while 28% favor the Republican candidate or lean Republican, a greater than two-to-one advantage for Democrats. But support for congressional Democrats is down from 2010, when 65% of Latino registered voters backed the Democrat in their congressional district and 22% favored the Republican candidate.

On political party identification, 63% of Hispanic voters today say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, down from 70% who said the same in 2012. And when asked which political party has more concern for Hispanics, 50% say the Democrats, down from 61% who said the same in 2012.

Meanwhile, Republicans have made some progress among Hispanic voters. About one-quarter (27%) today say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. In 2012, 22% said the same.

But Republican Party gains among Hispanic registered voters in terms of party identification do not extend to Hispanic voters’ views of the party. Just 10% say the Republican Party has more concern than the Democratic Party for Hispanics, unchanged since 2012. Instead, the share of Hispanic registered voters who say there is no difference between the two parties is up, to 35% today from 23% in 2012.

Hispanics and Immigration Reform
The new survey also shows that two-thirds (66%) of Hispanic registered voters say it is extremely important (30%) or very important (36%) that the president and Congress pass significant new immigration legislation soon. Among all Hispanics, three-quarters (74%) say the same.

When asked who is responsible for the lack of immigration reform this year, Latino registered voters place more blame on Republicans in Congress (45%) than congressional Democrats (14%) or President Obama (20%). By contrast, among all Latinos, just as many blame Republicans (40%) as blame either congressional Democrats (15%) or President Obama (24%).

Yet the survey also shows that immigration is not a deal breaker issue for many Latino voters. Some 54% say they would vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on immigration policy if that candidate agrees with them on most other issues. Nonetheless, about one-third (36%) say they would not vote for a candidate if they disagreed with the candidate on immigration policy.

Overall, the issue of immigration does not rate as high as some other issues among Hispanic voters. Instead, when asked about issues that might be discussed in this year’s congressional campaign, more say education (92%), jobs and the economy (91%) and health care (86%) are extremely important or very important to them. By comparison, 73% say the same about immigration.

The report, based on a survey conducted between Sept. 11 through Oct. 9 in English and Spanish on cellular as well as landline phones, is available at http://www.pewhispanic.org/2014/10/29/latino-support-for-democrats-falls-but-democratic-advantage-remains/. For more information or to arrange an interview with Mark Hugo Lopez, director of Hispanic research, please contact Molly Rohal at mrohal@pewresearch.org or 202-419-4318.

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take policy positions.