The standoff between President Barack Obama and Congress over immigration reform has produced a diminished level of support among Latinos for Democrats. However, the Democrats still maintain a decided advantage among Latino registered voters, according to a new Pew Research Center survey
 
The study surveyed 1,520 Hispanic adults, including 733 registered voters, and found that 57% of the Latino registered voters support the Democratic candidate in their congressional district or lean Democratic, while 28% favor the Republican candidate or lean Republican, rendering a greater than two-to-one advantage for Democrats. But support for congressional Democrats is down from 2010, when 65% of Latino registered voters backed the Democrat in their congressional district and 22% favored the Republican candidate.
 
Regarding party affiliation, 63% of Hispanic voters say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, down from 70% who said the same in 2012. Republicans have made some progress among Hispanic voters. About one-quarter (27%) of Latinos say they identify with or lean toward the Republican Party. In 2012, 22% said the same.
 
The Pew survey also shows that two-thirds (66%) of Hispanic registered voters say it is extremely important (30%) or very important (36%) that Obama and Congress pass new immigration legislation soon. Among all Hispanics, three-quarters (74%) say the same.
 
When asked to identify those responsible for the lack of immigration reform this year, Latino registered voters place more blame on congressional Republicans (45%) than congressional Democrats (14%) or President Obama (20%). By contrast, among all Latinos, just as many blame Republicans (40%) as blame either congressional Democrats (15%) or President Obama (24%).
 
According to a release from the Pew Foundation, "Yet the survey also shows that immigration is not a deal breaker issue for many Latino voters. Some 54% say they would vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on immigration policy if that candidate agrees with them on most other issues. Nonetheless, about one-third (36%) say they would not vote for a candidate if they disagreed with the candidate on immigration policy."

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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