Ted Cruz and the Hispanic Vote
Today the Washington Examiner published the results of a poll that was provided by Ted Cruz’s staff and taken six weeks after the 2012 general election. The survey shows that Hispanics favored Democrat Paul Sadler over Cruz 60 percent to 40 percent and Obama over Romney 59 percent to 33 percent. Here are some other key findings:
• In Cruz’s non-competitive campaign against Sadler, the poll’s respondents said they voted for Cruz over Sadler by a margin of 38 percent to 36 percent. An additional 22 percent didn’t remember who they voted for or voted for someone else.
• Given that the same poll showed that Obama beat Romney among Hispanics by 23 percentage points, Cruz’ pollsters estimated that 80 percent of Hispanics in that 22 percent probably voted for Sadler, which is how they arrived at the Democrats’ 60 percent to 40 percent victory over his Republican opponent among Hispanics.
• In 2012, the largest share of the Lone Star State’s Hispanic vote came from a swath of southern and western Texas stretching from El Paso to Corpus Christi (31 percent) followed by metropolitan Houston (25 percent), San Antonio (18 percent) and Dallas-Fort Worth (13 percent).
• Forty-four percent of Hispanics identified as Democrats in the poll; 23 percent identified as Republicans and 30 percent described themselves as independents. By contrast, 40 percent of Texas Hispanics identified as conservative; while 36 percent identified as moderate. Only 18 percent claimed to be liberal. By religion, 58 percent identified as Catholic and 22 percent as Protestant.
• A 4 percentage point gender gap existed among Texas Hispanics who voted in 2012, with women topping men 52 percent to 48 percent. Meanwhile, 69 percent said English was their primary language, compared to 18 percent who cited Spanish; 78 percent said they were born in the United States, 13 percent said they were born in Mexico and 6 percent said they were born somewhere else.
• Sixty-eight percent of Texas Hispanics support increasing border security as part of immigration reforms; 10 percent opposed it. Another 20 percent were indifferent.
• Six in 10 of Hispanics in Texas support increasing legal immigration into the U.S., with 9 percent opposed. Twenty-nine percent were indifferent.
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I suppose that the takeaway from this is that Texas Hispanics still lean strongly Democratic, but it is also interesting that the population tends to self-identify as ideologically conservative, a circumstance that should cause concern for Democrats in the years ahead.