Hispanic Americans overwhelmingly support the Democratic Party rather than the Republican Party. Sixty percent of Latinos say the Democrats “represent them well”, compared to 34 percent for Republicans. That split is consistent among age groups, education levels and gender (but not all groups of national origin).
Furthermore, the Republican Party has a serious image problem with Hispanics, with two-thirds saying the Republican Party “does not really care” about them. The numbers cited here are drawn from Most Latinos Say Democrats Care About Them, Pew Research Center, Sep. 29, 2022.
However, the Democratic Party cannot take Latinos’ support for granted. A third of Hispanics think the Democrats do not represent their interests well. And close to 50 percent don’t see much difference between the two parties. Nonetheless, although former President Donald Trump won a larger share of the Hispanic vote in 2020 than in 2016, the talk about a big shift of Hispanics to the Republican Party in the 2022 midterms appears to be hype.
Latinos are attracted to the Democrats because of the party’s more liberal approach toward immigration, of course. But most Hispanics also share Democratic positions on key cultural issues such as abortion and gun control.
Almost 60 percent of Latinos say abortion should be legal in some cases, which is close to overall public opinion in the U.S; 40 percent oppose it. That 60/40 split holds true for Hispanic Catholics, who represent almost half of Latinos. Not surprisingly, 70 percent of Hispanic evangelicals oppose abortion rights. However, evangelicals constitute only 15 percent of Latinos.
Hispanics firmly oppose the expansion of gun rights. This is not a group that on the whole supports permitless carry or eliminating background checks. A striking 73 percent of Latinos want more stringent gun controls, while only 26 percent favor greater gun rights. This is in sharp contrast with the overall public, which is divided roughly 50/50 on this issue.
Cubans are a distinct political group among Latinos. About 60 percent lean Republican, probably because many families suffered under the Communist regime in Cuba (Most Cuban American voters identified as Republican in 2020, Pew Research Center, Oct. 2, 2020). The Cubans are concentrated in Florida, where they are very influential politically. They hold conservative views and abhor anything labeled “socialism.”
Still, Cubans represent only five percent of Hispanics in the United States. Mexican-Americans, the dominant group, are 56 percent of Latinos. In the 2022 midterms, they preferred Democratic candidates over Republican by 58 to 25 percent. Puerto Ricans are the next largest, at 14 percent. Dominicans, Salvadorans, and other national-origin groups represent less than five percent of Hispanics.
About half of Latinos say it is very important to establish a way for most immigrants who currently live in the United States illegally to stay here legally. However, 42% think that increasing border security is also very important. Sixty percent of Cubans give priority to increasing border security rather than finding a pathway to legal status for current illegal immigrants.