More than twice as many Hispanic voters say they favor Democrats to Republicans, according to a new poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - More than twice as many Hispanic voters say they favor Democrats as Republicans – the lowest level of support for President Bush’s party since shortly before his first White House run, according to a new poll released Thursday.
Fifty-seven percent of registered Hispanic voters told the non-partisan Pew Hispanic Center they favor Democrats, compared to 23 percent who said the same for Republicans. Back in 1999, the results were 58 percent to 25 percent, roughly the same margin as the current survey.
In June 2006, before Congress began to consider an overhaul of immigration policy and enforcement, the margin was slimmer: 49 percent of registered Hispanic voters then said they favored Democrats, and 28 percent chose Republicans.
Using a formula that took into account both voting patterns from the last presidential cycle and the most recent U.S. Census data, the organization projected there would be 8.6 million Hispanic voters next year – 1 million more than in 2004.
The group also estimated that Hispanics could affect the outcome in four states where Bush prevailed in 2004 by 5 percentage points or fewer: Nevada, Florida, New Mexico and Colorado.
President Bush and other national Republican leaders had made luring Hispanics from the Democratic Party a major priority. But 41 percent of registered voters surveyed said administration policies had harmed Hispanics, compared to 16 percent who said they had been helpful. Thirty-three percent said they had had no impact.
And 41 said the Democratic Party had more concern for Hispanics, compared to 8 percent who said the same for Republicans. Forty-four percent saw no difference between the two parties.
Fifty-nine percent of Hispanic registered Democrats say they would like to see New York Sen. Hillary Clinton as their party’s presidential nominee. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama trails with 15 percent.
Among Hispanic registered Republicans, 35 percent favor former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, followed by 13 percent who support former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson.
The survey was conducted October 3 through November 9, and involved phone interviews with 2,003 randomly chosen Hispanics, and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. It included 843 Hispanic registered voters, for whom the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.
– CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand