Hispanic Americans Lean As Libertarian As Whites



Libertarianism has a reputation in America for being the province of old white dudes (perhaps old and young white dudes if critics are feeling magnanimous). But parsing a recent survey from Pew Research Center, Townhall.com columnist Rachel Burger digs up a counternarrative: Almost as many Hispanic Americans identify as libertarian as do white Americans. 

In the survey, about 11 percent of all Americans identified as libertarian (while also being able to identify with what the word means; if we include the ignorant, the figure jumps to 14 percent!). This included 11 percent of Hispanics, 12 percent of whites, and three percent of blacks. 

"So what's going on here?" asks Burger, noting that Hispanics in America have come to be associated with support for Democrat policies. She suggests that it's millennial Hispanics leading the shift. More than half of the American Hispanic population (65 percent) is currently between the ages of 22 to 35. And while this group largely supported Obama once upon a time, their support has been waning. Hispanic young people's support for Obama has dropped nine percent since 2010. (White millennial support dropped 12 points in this period, while black millennial support remained unchanged.) 

Barbara Sostiata, a Yale PhD candidate studying Latina/o religious traditions, told Burger: 

Hispanic Millennials have been largely ignored by both main political parties and are looking for alternatives to the status quo. Our biggest concerns are access to education and economic empowerment, immigration, and prison reform. Both parties and their ideologies fail to address these concerns and Hispanic Millennials are looking for answers.

Burger also notes strong Hispanic millennial support for gay marriage and legal marijuana.

None of this necessarily means millennial Hispanics are more likely to identify libertarian than older Hispanics. While it certainly seems plausible that they're driving the trend, there's no hard evidence in either the Pew study or Burger's piece to back this up. The Pew Study did note that millennials in general were slightly more likely than older cohorts to identify as libertarian.

In a 2013 Gallup poll, Hispanic Americans of all ages were more likely to identify as Democrat than Republican. But in keeping with millennials at large, young Hispanics were much more likely than their elders to identify as politically independent (53 percent, versus 37 percent of boomers and 29 percent of those 65 and older) and slightly more likeley than older Hispanics to lean Republican. Millennial Hispanics are also less likely than to be religious—among 18- to 29-year-olds, there's been a large shift away from Catholicism toward no religious affiliation, according to a Pew poll from earlier this year. 

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  1. …while also being able to identify with what the word means; if we include the ignorant, the figure jumps to 14 percent!

    ENB is a no true Scotsman type.

    1. That and the failure to mention that 50% lean democratic. Which is hilarious, and renders this article completely moot.

      1. And 72% approval of Obama. They are only libertarians if you put them on the same scale palin’s buttplug is a libertarian.

      2. How does a certain percentage leaning democrat invalidate the number that lean libertarian?

        1. It doesn’t, it just kind of proves how far we are from a “libertarian” moment. I get that you put together these polls and subsequent articles, but I think I speak for everyone when I say your talents are being wasted. You produce a lot of good material I just think I’m fatigued by the endless millennial polls.

          1. I think it was Emily Ekins who was responsible for putting together the polls regarding millenials, not ENB.

            1. Yep, I’ve got nothing to do with the polls.

          2. You don’t want to know what Millennials think about abortion?

            1. There are a number of millenials that I’d like to see aborted.

              Does that count?

          3. I don’t think Reason did this poll. Also, the article isn’t claiming that Hispanics or millenials are mostly libertarian, just that the same percentage of Hispanics and whites identify as libertarian.

        2. If you’re trying to reassure people here that an open borders policy towards Mexico will not shift the Overton window significantly to the left, I don’t think the cited numbers help.

  2. old white dudes

    Is old Mexican a white Hispanic?

    One thing I find funny is how horrible Republicans have been at getting the Hispanic vote.

    1. They believe in Jesus…so much in fact they name thier sons Jesus.

    2. Family oriented

    3. Have jobs

    Seriously how the hell can conservatives not capitalize politically on a cultural pedigree like that?

    1. “white Hispanic”


    2. It’s the whole “We love Jesus, you love Jesus… we believe in the primacy of the family, you believe in the primacy of the family… WHY IN THE HELL DO I HAVE TO PRESS ONE FOR ENGLISH IN MY OWN FREAKING COUNTRY!!! We believe in the importance of work, you believe in the importance of work…” thing.

      You wouldn’t believe how many you can alienate with a simple ill-timed sentence.

    3. Lack of political connection to the country and immediate acculturation into lower-strata groups which identify Democrat.

      Most immigrants don’t give two shits about politics in the country they’re emigrating to. Their children are indoctrinated in the same inner-city schools as groups with severe social dysfunctions.

      I think the shift towards conservatism recently has to do with changing Hispanic immigration trends (particularly, towards more conservative parts of the American South and Southwest over places on the Pacific coast or in the Midwest), as well as a steady move upwards in the group’s economic success relative to the general population.

      1. ^^THIS^^

        Asians vote Democrat even though the Democrats favor legalized discrimination against Asians in college admissions. The reason is that Democrats own the popular culture and immigrants, because they are trying to fit in, follow the popular culture.

      2. Most Hispanics come from left-leaning countries – so habit. When they first arrive, many are relatively poor – so free shit. Only after a generation or 2, when they paying for other people’s free shit will they switch.

        Free shit and habit – tough to break.

      3. Wrong. Direct, personal, firsthand experience, of policies that make their lives harder, which are backed by Republicans.

        People going through immigration KNOW which party is trying to make going through the immigration system HARDER. The affiliation with the Democrats is entirely caused by resentment against Republicans for making their lives miserable.

    4. It is completely and totally about the Republican’s pandering to anti-Hispanic racism on immigration policy.

      I cannot emphasize this enough.

      It is NOT about the free shit, or about the culture, or about anything else. It’s just about the fact that the Republicans have fought tooth and nail to keep people they know in a second-class limbo status, and make it harder for them to get legal status.

      Free shit does not even BEGIN to compare to not being legally allowed to have a job. Hispanics don’t want handouts, they want to be legally allowed to WORK. It’s not that Party A wants to give them free medicaid. It’s that party B wants to make it impossible for them to live and WORK and pursue happiness like normal Americans.

  3. Hispanic Americans Lean As Libertarian As Whites

    Well – DUH – “white Hispanics”, yo?


    *runs away sobbing*

  4. ?Qu? piensan Millenials?

  5. If there’s hope, it lies in the assholes.

  6. access to education

    I imagine that is basically the same as “access to healthcare”

  7. So- NOT VERY.

    What did I win?

  8. From the linked article:

    Jesus A. Diaz, who was born in 1991 and is a social Democrat, says, “For me I don’t see Rubio or Cruz as Hispanics even though I know they have ‘cultural’ surnames

    How could they possibly be real blacks if they’re not working a plantation?

    1. See my link below. Also, the intermarriage rate among whites and Hispanics is pretty high. If you are half white and some dickhead like Jesus Diaz says that if you are not all about welfare and open borders you are not a “real Hispanic”, chances are you just say fuck it and identify by your white half.

  9. This included 11 percent of Hispanics, 12 percent of whites, and three percent of blacks.

    What about Asians?

  10. The bigger story I think is how many Hispanics now identify themselves as “white”.

    An estimated net 1.2 million Americans of the 35 million Americans identified in 2000 as of “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin,” as the census form puts it, changed their race from “some other race” to “white” between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, according to research presented at an annual meeting of the Population Association of America and reported by Pew Research.

    That is a fascinating development. My theory is that as the race hustlers have made “Hispanic” synonymous with “big government, welfare, open borders demanding Prog”, the Hispanics who are not like that have started calling themselves white.

    1. Before long, Greeks and Italians will be making these kinds of ridiculous claims.

      1. The other thing is that the recent wave of Latin American immigrants has not been Mexicans. It has been Central Americans. Mexicans want no part of and consider themselves far superior to Hondurans and Salvadorans. As the term “Hispanic” has evolved to include Central Americans, I would imagine more than a few Mexican Americans have decided to count their white half.

        1. You’re misreading the data. Those 1.2 million are still identifying as Hispanic, because Hispanic is an ethnicity and not a race – it’s a separate section of the Census. They kept identifying as Hispanic, but changed their racial identification from “some other race” to “white.”

          1. No. Its a poorly written sentence. Its easy to misconstrue, but read it again.

            An estimated net 1.2 million Americans of the 35 million Americans identified in 2000 as of “Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin,”

            We have 1.2 million people who in 2000 called themselves Hispanic, Latino or Spanish

            as the census form puts it, changed their race from “some other race” to “white” between the 2000 and 2010 censuses

            They changed their race to “white”. Why the reporter used the term “from some other race” and not “from one of those classifications” is beyond me. But that is what he meant. Otherwise, there isn’t a story here.

            Its from a New York Times article, which the Reason server calls spam. But if you read on in the article you get this

            The researchers found that 2.5 million Americans of Hispanic origin, or approximately 7 percent of the 35 million Americans of Hispanic origin in 2000, changed their race from “some other race” in 2000 to “white” in 2010. An additional 1.3 million people switched in the other direction. A noteworthy but unspecified share of the change came from children who weren’t old enough to fill out a form in 2000, but chose for themselves in 2010.

            I am not misreading it.

            1. “Some other race” is a word for word choice in the race category in the Census. It’s not shorthand for “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish.” “Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish” is in the ethnicity section. It’s a totally different part of the Census. One can identify as Hispanic and white (or black, Asian, Native American, etc.) on the census (without necessarily identifying as mixed race), because they are not in the same category.

              These articles should help


              1. If you read it like that, then the article makes no sense. It has to mean Hispanic, otherwise, the article can’t conclude what it does. It totally nonsensical when read like that. I know the Times isn’t what it used to be, but it isn’t that bad.

                1. No it doesn’t. The point of the article is that Hispanics are increasingly assimilating, since more and more are identifying themselves as white on the Census. What you are missing is that this is not mutually exclusive with considering yourself Hispanic, because Hispanic is not a race. There are many Hispanics of predominately European ancestry who look white or mostly white. The reason that many of them don’t identify as white is because of the social and cultural implications that that label has in our society (which is evident by the fact that people treat white and Hispanic as mutually exclusive in everyday conversation, when they are not in fact). The data shows that more and more Hispanics are not considering those labels to be mutually exclusive. At the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that a lot of Hispanics view all the race options as poor descriptors. Most Hispanics are mixed race, but since for the most part that mixture occurred centuries ago, they tend not to select more than one race, since they don’t feel that way. That leaves either the very vague “some other race” or one of the more specific identifiers (white, black, Native American, etc.).

                2. This paragraph basically describes what I’m saying.

                  “White identification is not necessarily a sign that Hispanics consider themselves white. Many or even most might identify their race as “Hispanic” if it were an explicit option. But white identification may still be an indicator of assimilation. White identifiers are likelier to be second- and third-generation Hispanics than foreign-born and noncitizen Hispanics. They also have higher levels of education and income.”

  11. I know this is just results from one state in one election, and the numbers for all groups are small, but according to exit polls, Gary Johnson won 6% of the Hispanic vote in New Mexico, compared to 3% of the white vote.


    1. New Mexico has a very old and established Mexican population. They were there before the whites obviously. If you know very much about Mexico, that shouldn’t surprise you. But, the Hispanic population in New Mexico is a bit different, older, more Mexican, and more established, for whatever that is worth.

      1. My wife lived in Santa Fe most of her adult life. She tells me that old-line Hispanics there are quite offended if you call them Mexican- they’re NEW Mexican, thank you very much.

        1. I’m told there are folks in Albuquerque who still prefer to call themselves Spanish.

      2. That is true, though there has also been a lot of recent immigration from Mexico and Central America as well.

    2. Gary Johnson won 6% of the Hispanic vote in New Mexico, compared to 3% of the white vote.

      Which is chilling for the Johnson Campaign considering New Mexico has a considerable hispanic population, and he was a former Governor.

      1. He was Gary Johnson (R) as governor and ran as Gary Johnson (L). They probably didn’t know who he was after the name change.

  12. “Almost as many Hispanic Americans identify as libertarian as do white Americans.”

    Given that suburban white college kids are basically ‘Zapatistas in training’, I’m not sure why this should be exciting.

    1. “in training”? I’d say they’re pretty expert.

  13. Hey, Republicans, take note:

    As a libertarian, I would personally like to welcome our Hispanic friends to the fold of liberty.

    Was that so hard?

  14. By the way, I am light-skinned, with green eyes. Just throwing it out there for you.

  15. It’s also worth noting that many Hispanics have an entrepreneurial streak. It’s hard not to learn how to be one when you work in the shadow economy, which a lot of hispanics do, given the intermingling of legal and illegal workers.

    Many of them start off working as day laborers, and then quickly end up running crews that do construction or landscaping/yardwork. Or you repair cars on the side, and soon end up opening a garage.
    Or, when it comes to women, you start off as a maid or a nanny, and then soon realize that you can start a maid service or a babysitting employing your sisters and cousins.

    1. that you can start a maid service or a babysitting employing your sisters and cousins.

      Slowwwww down there… labour laws, FICA, unemployment, workplace safety regulations will see to the end of that.

      1. If you’re already paying someone under the table, regulation is moot. You’re already breaking the number one regulation – hiring someone without a government permission slip.

        Do you see why this might make Hispanics more sympathetic to libertarianism?

        1. So how come Italy and Greece aren’t libertarian strongholds?

          1. People in the counter economy want free stuff too?

  16. Hispanic Americans Lean As Libertarian As Whites

    So, there are 22 of them? Or are 50% of the 22 of us hispanic?

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