New poll shows most Hispanics identify as independent

Zachary Huffman Contributor
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A majority of self-identified Hispanics consider themselves political independents, according to a Gallup poll released Sunday.

The poll asked 1,753 Hispanics about their political identification. Fifty-one percent identified as independents, 32 percent as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

When the respondents were probed for party leanings, 52 percent of Hispanics more closely identified with the Democratic Party and 23 percent identified with the Republican Party.

“All groups show much greater identification with the Democratic than the Republican Party, though each succeeding generation of Hispanics is more likely to identify with Republicans than the prior one,”according to Gallup.

Hispanic voters constitute an increasingly large share of the electorate. Various studies predict that Hispanics will make up 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2025.

Hispanic voters are predicted to play a crucial role in 2012 , and both parties are attempting to find the most successful means of reaching this important voting population.

A separate Gallup poll reported that 67 percent of Hispanic voters plan to support President Barack Obama, while only 26 percent favor Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

However, there is still time for polling numbers to fluctuate before November, and both candidates continue to compete aggressively for Hispanic voters.

Obama’s announcement that he would not be deporting illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the U.S. before the age of 16 was seen by some as a political move to attract Hispanic voters.

Fox News reports that Obama has gone as far as altering the Spanish dialect in his campaigns for different regions of his Latino outreach plan, while Romney is stepping up grassroots efforts in key states with large Hispanic populations like Florida, Ohio and North Carolina. Romney, whose father was born in Mexico, is trying to play up his Mexican roots in campaign speeches.

According to Alexandra Franceschi, spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee’s Hispanic effort, the GOP’s outreach in 2012 will focus largely on the economy.

Franceschi told Fox News, “Hispanics are Americans and are facing the same issues as everyone else: chronically high unemployment, lower pay and rising healthcare costs.”

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