Hispanics on Issues

I highlighted Pew Center poll results on  Hispanics and their identity and experience in the US in previous posts. The Pew Center’s recent study also included some policy questions in their survey of Hispanics.


Hispanics are nearly identical to the rest of the population in the percentage that call themselves conservative. However, slightly more Hispanics call themselves liberal (30%) than in the general population (21%). Foreign-born Hispanics are slightly more likely to call themselves conservative (35%) than native-born Hispanics (28%).

Political Ideology of Hispanics and General Public

One problem with asking about such labels is whether or not people agree on what those labels mean. The struggle within the Republican party to define exactly what “conservative” is a good illustration that two people can claim the same label but mean something different when using it.

The Size of Government

The differences between Hispanics and the rest of the population are larger on the question: “If you had to choose, would you rather have a smaller government providing fewer services, or a bigger government providing more services?”  While 48% of Americans in general opted for “smaller government, only 19% of Hispanics did so. In contrast, 75% of Hispanics opted for “bigger government”–a much higher percentage than the 41% of the overall population who opted for bigger government.

There is steady movement toward smaller government with each generation. It would be interesting to see how these attitudes correlated with income (which correlates with generation). Unfortunately, Pew did not provide that breakdown in the report.

Smaller government

This question has its own set of quirks. Americans frequently express a desire for “smaller government” but express high levels of support for individual programs. Americans are better at demanding smaller government than giving up the programs that make government bigger.


You might expect that their strong connection to the Catholic Church (62% of Hispanics identified themselves as Catholic and 19% as Protestant) would give Hispanics have higher levels of opposition to abortion. However, much of that opposition is found in the first-generation with subsequent generations actually favoring abortion being legal in most or all cases.

Also note that, as with the general population, Hispanic support for abortion declined with age.

Attitudes on Abortion

As it turns out, Hispanics who belong to Protestant churches (especially those who identify themselves as Evangelical) are more likely to oppose abortion than their Catholic counterparts.

Hispanic attitudes on abortion by religion


Hispanics’ traditional values could also be expected to give them distinct attitudes about homosexuality. However, Hispanics overall hold attitudes almost identical to the rest of the nation. There are some differences with first-generation and older Hispanics showing less acceptance of homosexuals.

Attitudes on Homosexuality

After three posts on the study, there are still more questions you might ask. You can read the report and the full study to explore the data yourself.


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