As Republicans ponder how to win over Hispanics in future election cycles, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
A poll of Illinois Hispanics conducted by pollster Mike McKeon found that a majority shared views generally considered to be sympathetic to the Republican party.
The poll found Hispanics in the conservative camp on social issues in particular. Fifty-one percent said they opposed legalizing gay marriage, compared to just 40 percent who favored legalization. Fifty-six percent called themselves pro-life, while just 33 percent said they were pro-choice.
A small plurality of those surveyed said they did not believe more gun laws would make their communities safer and reduce violence. Forty-seven percent said it would not help. Forty-two percent said it would.
Few identified themselves as liberals — just 14 percent — while 27 percent called themselves conservatives and 59 percent said they were moderates.
Yet when asked for their party identification, 54 percent said they were Democrats, 31 percent said they were independents, and just 15 percent were self-described Republicans. The disparity between ideology and party affiliation could represent an opportunity for Republicans.
McKeon is president of McKeon & Associates, an Illinois polling firm founded in 1973. He spent 20 years as a pollster and political strategist for Illinois Republican Rep. Dennis Hastert, including the years Hastert served as speaker.
His poll sampled 611 Illinois registered voters with Hispanic surnames, using live telephone interviews on landline and mobile phones. More than one-quarter of the interviews were conducted with mobile phone users.
Just under 20 percent of the interviews were conducted in Spanish. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.