Based on a recent Gallup poll that found President Barack Obama with a 66 percent to 25 percent lead over Mitt Romney among Hispanics, liberals prematurely celebrated not only winning the Hispanic vote this election year by wide margins but winning the Hispanic vote for generations to lock in a so-called permanent liberal majority.
Not so fast.
A closer look at the numbers suggest that second-generation Hispanics may not be as liberal as immigrant Hispanics, and this underscores how important full assimilation of Hispanics into the American culture will be.
According to the poll’s findings, Hispanic voters who are immigrants “say by almost 5-to-1 that the government should do more to solve our country's problems,” but “among registered Hispanic voters who are the U.S.-born children of immigrants, that ratio narrows to nearly 2-1.”
The poll found that 72% of Hispanics support Obama. However, among Hispanics whose parents were born in the USA, only 58% support Obama.
When it comes to Mitt Romney, 18% of Hispanic immigrants and 22% of first-generation Hispanics support Obama's Republican challenger. However, among Hispanics whose parents were born in America, Romney support nearly doubles at 35%.
Furthermore, 16% of immigrant Hispanics ranked immigration as the top issue of this election cycle. For Hispanics whose parents were born in America, only 7% ranked immigration as their top priority.
Right now, immigrant and first-generation Hispanics outnumber those whose parents were born in America. But in the future, when more Hispanics are born to American-born parents while immigrant Hispanics move up the economic ladder, Democrats may not be able to take the Hispanic vote for granted, as Romney has accused Obama of doing.