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Young Hispanics could become the newest Independents

by Christopher A. Guzman, published

According to a poll commissioned by Generation Opportunity- a new non-profit, non-partisan organization that's interested in reaching 18-29 year old Americans on the nation's economic issues- young Hispanics want to see an across-the-board reduction in the federal government's interference in the economy.

Given the specific issues noted in this survey, this could indicate that these young minorities are open to becoming fiscal libertarians.  Issues highlighted in surveying young Hispanic preferences on economic policy include less government interference, lower taxes on business profits, reduced federal spending, and specifically effecting more cuts in federal spending rather than raising taxes to address the economic crisis. Noteworthy is that attitudes regarding limiting the government's role is supported by a strong majority of young Hispanics.

By a 3:1 ratio, young Hispanic adults prefer "reducing federal spending" (69%) to "raising taxes on individuals" (27%) as a way to balance the federal budget. 70% of Hispanic adults would like to decrease federal spending as a top priority in the nation's fiscal plan. 

57% of Hispanics agree that 'if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire." On a separate but related question, 56% agree that "the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to to create businesses without government interference."

Sharing sentiments that appear to have a strong Tea Party flavor, young Hispanics could fit the mold of Independent voters willing to challenge both parties on these key issues. If the preferences noted in this survey are an indication of more widespread Hispanic voter patterns, it could spell bad news for President Barack Obama and most Democrats in 2012.

Michael Barone of the Washington Examiner notes the slow decline from 2008 exit polls which showed that Hispanic voters pulled for Obama by 67%-31% in 2008. Voters under 30 supported him by 66%-32%. Hispanic voters also voted for Democrats in House races that year by 68%-29%.  By the 2010 midterm House races, however, support among Hispanics went down to 61%-38%.

The downward trend has only continued. Hispanic support for President Obama was down to 57% in the latest Gallup poll conducted in May, closer to the approval rating among whites (41%) than to blacks (91%). The results of the Generation Opportunity poll are consistent with these numbers, Barone notes.  Also, these young Hispanics now join a majority of Independents (65%) and some Democratic-leaning independents (43%) in disapproving of President Obama's handling of the deficit.

Along with Independents, Hispanics have the common factor of being a persuasive force in politics at the national level given their size and growth. Because of this reality, more young Hispanics should be actively welcomed into the Independent fold, both to grow their movement and to challenge the two-party system in order to come up with a viable plan for genuine economic recovery.

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