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Latinos are showing little sign of shifting away from Democrats, Gallup finds

In recent polling, Hispanics identify with Democrats over Republicans by about 30 percentage points — a similar margin to previous years.
Image: Voters fill in their ballots in Miami Shores on Nov. 3, 2020.
Voters fill in ballots in Miami Shores, Fla., on Nov. 3, 2020. Emily Michot / Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images file

Latinos are showing little sign of shifting significantly away from the Democratic Party, a Gallup analysis published Thursday states.

Hispanics’ identification with Democrats edged down in 2021 along with the larger adult U.S. population.

But Latinos continued to identify with Democrats over Republicans by about 30 percentage points, according to an analysis by Gallup senior scientist Frank Newport.

“We do not see a major shift at this point on the party with whom Hispanics nationally identify,” Newport told NBC News.

Gallup interviewed 1,338 Hispanics in 2021 asking whether they consider themselves Republican or Democrat and which party they lean toward.

In the first six months of 2021, 58 percent of Hispanics responded Democrat or lean Democrat, while 26 percent said Republican or lean Republican.

In the final six months of 2021, that changed to 54 percent Democrat or lean Democrat and 26 percent Republican or lean Republican. That averaged out to about a 30-point advantage for Democrats for the year.

Interviews were in English and Spanish, depending on preference.

“There clearly are conjectures and hypotheses and assertions that the Hispanic population is becoming more Republican, so it’s important to check on long-term trends,” Newport said.

The Gallup analysis noted that the behavior of Hispanic adults nationally is different from Hispanic adults who are registered to vote and turn out to the polls. Lower voter registration rates among Hispanics leave room for differences between the Latino population at large and smaller groups of Hispanic voters.

“However, it’s reasonable to assume that broad trends in Hispanic American’s party identification parallel trends in voting patterns,” the analysis stated.

Trends in individual states also may vary from national trends, it said.

In 2020, then-President Donald Trump saw a boost in Latino support in some states, such as Texas and Florida.

The level of Hispanic support for each party has fluctuated since 2011, but there has been “no indication of a major shift,” the Gallup analysis found.

“The 30-point Democratic advantage in party identification among Hispanic adults in 2021 is, in fact, greater than the 26-point Democratic margin in 2011,” it stated.

In fact, “if there has been any change worth noting, it has been the modest decrease in the percentage of Hispanic people who identify with or lean toward the Republican Party since 2011-14,” Gallup’s analysis stated.

The analysis found that Hispanics are more likely to identify as independents, 52 percent, than adults nationally.

But in follow-up questions, those who identified as independent were more likely to say they lean Democrat than Republican.

The share who identify as independent shows that about half of Hispanics have a “weak allegiance” to either party or none at all. Thirteen percent continued to say they are independent after the follow-up questions on how they lean.

“This, in turn, could suggest that the voting choices of Hispanic Americans may be at least slightly more up for grabs than is the case for Americans as a whole,” Gallup stated.

Latino voting surged in 2018 in the last midterms. Latino voters were credited with Democratic Senate wins in Arizona and Nevada.

The next indication of where Latino voters are putting their support will be the midterms in November.

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