According to new numbers taken from the U.S. Census Bureau, more U.S. Latinos tend to favor Democrats over Republicans. (Photo : Reuters)
If the Republicans, still reeling from their defeat at the polls in November, are attempting to court more Latinos into their support column, the latest survey from the U.S. Census Bureau spells bad news for those hopes.
A study from the Center for Immigration Studies, using data from the census bureau, shows that native-born Hispanics-not just immigrants-are more likely to favor Democrats than Republicans.
One in five households headed by U.S.-born Hispanics, or 21 percent, is in poverty, while just 10 percent of non-Hispanic U.S.-born white households are also poor. Meanwhile, 40 percent of the Hispanic households use at least one major welfare program, which is double the rate of white households, holding at 19 percent.
"The underlying demographics make this a population that's a tough sell for the Republican message," said Steven A. Camarota, research director at the Center for Immigration Studies, according to the Washington Times.
It would be difficult to argue that point. Prior to the election, Hispanic voters who were polled were supporting President Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney by wide margins. On Election Day, Obama was projected to have won a record-breaking 75 percent of the Latino electorate, trumping Bill Clinton's 72 percent record among Hispanic voters in 1996.
Some Republicans have seen this as a wake-up call that they need to change their hardliner stance on issues such as immigration reform in order to build the bridges between themselves and the growing Hispanic electorate.
"You either engage them, or you become an irrelevant party and movement," said Alfonso Aguilar, a Bush administration official who is now the executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, to the Washington Times. "We already cannot win California and New York. If we continue like this, it's [next] going to be Florida, Texas, Arizona. That's it -- Republicans will never win another national election."
But to analysts familiar with those numbers, the GOP's task might be easier said than done.
"It turns out that Latinos are systematically to the left of whites on an entire array of economic-policy matters," Gary M. Segura, a political scientist at Stanford University and a principal in the polling firm Latino Decisions, told the Washington Times.
According to Segura, while Hispanics are more conservative on abortion, which is typically a Republican stance, approximately 38 percent identify themselves as pro-choice, versus about 48 percent of all Americans, which is not a very big difference.
On gay marriage, Hispanics are becoming increasingly supportive.