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More U.S. Cubans Are Shifting To Democratic Party

Less than half of U.S. Cuban voters identify or lean Republican, while the number of Cubans leaning or siding with Democrats has doubled.
Image: Cuban-themed gift shops line the sidewalks of Little Havana neighborhood in Miami
Cuban-themed gift shops line the sidewalks of SW 8th Street, known locally as "Calle Ocho" in the Little Havana neighborhood of Miami, Florida May 17, 2014. BRIAN BLANCO / Reuters

The Republican party is losing support among U.S. Cubans as a growing number are shifting their support toward Democrats, according to a Pew Research Center analysis released on Tuesday.

Less than half (47 percent) of Cuban registered voters nationwide identified or were leaning toward the Republican Party, compared to 64 percent ten years ago. Meanwhile, the share of U.S. Cubans leaning or identifying with Democrats climbed doubled from 22 percent to 44 percent.

According to Pew Hispanic Research's Jens Manuel Krogstad, there is a generational shift in these numbers.

"The impact of younger Cubans is reflected in those figures. Over half (56%) of Cubans ages 18 to 49 identified with or leaned toward the Democratic Party compared with 39% of those 50 years and older,"said Krogstad.

Strategists from both parties will be closely observing these changing party affiliations among the Cuban electorate. U.S. Cubans have some of the highest voter turnout rates, and as Krogstad points out, Obama benefited in 2012 from the split among Florida voters; 49 percent voted for Obama and 47 percent for Romney. A majority of the nation' s 2 million Cuban Americans, in fact 7 out of 10, live in Florida.