By Jean-Paul Salamanca (staff@latinospost.com) | First Posted: Dec 11, 2012 11:01 AM EST

A new survey shows that a growing number of U.S.-based Latinos are favoring higher taxes on the wealthy in order to avoid the fiscal cliff. (Photo : Reuters)

A new poll shows that more and more Latinos are in favor of raising taxes on the wealthy as a way to avoid the looming fiscal cliff.

The new survey released by Hispanic polling firm Latino Decisions and impreMedia showed that 77 percent out of 5,600 voters--more than three-fourths of those polled--favored increasing taxes on the rich. Only 12 percent of those polled favored only spending cuts.

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Roughly 86 percent of Democrats polled favored raising taxes on the wealthy in one shape or form--44 percent wanting to raise taxes on rich Americans and 42 percent favoring a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts.

A large score of Independent Latinos also were in favor of higher taxes, a combined 77 percent of them saying to poll takers that they would support a tax hike.

Among Republican Hispanics, 35 percent of them supported only spending cuts--a percentage higher than Democrat and Independent voters--but a combined 51 percent of them outweighed that percentage in support of raising taxes.

The issue here surrounding the poll is two-pronged.

First, the fiscal cliff--which involves higher taxes and automatic spending cuts that would result on Jan. 1 if Congress and President Obama allow the Bush era tax cuts to expire--has been a particularly divisive issue in Washington, with President Obama calling for a tax hike on the wealthiest Americans while Republicans in the GOP-controlled House of Representatives are opposed to tax hikes.

However--and this is where the second issue comes in--with the GOP having lost among Latino voters by record numbers in the Nov. 6 presidential elections, a growing number of Republicans realize that they must make efforts to win over the Hispanic electorate.

Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions, wrote in a blog post that both Republicans and Democrats "cannot ignore this overwhelming preference."

While immigration policy was arguably the issue of most importance among Hispanic voters, those same voters were also watching how the GOP will react towards the fiscal cliff.

"Simply put, while Republicans look to make in-roads with Latinos on a softer approach to immigration, they risk alienating more than three-quarters of potential voters if they oppose tax increases on the wealthy," Barretto wrote.

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