November 11, 1999

Retro-Politics

Section 7: The Economy

Section 8: Other Findings

Amid increased speculation about the political preferences of the growing Hispanic population in the U.S., the current survey suggests this emerging constituency remains largely in the Democratic fold. Indeed, more than four-in-ten Hispanics (46%) consider themselves Democrats (compared to one-third of all Americans), and just 13% identify with the GOP (compared to 25% overall). Among those Hispanics who voted in the 1996 elections, most supported Clinton. And a large majority of Hispanics (72%) continue to approve of Clinton today.

Although Gore lags behind Bush among Americans overall, Hispanics are evenly divided between the two front-running candidates. About half (48%) lean toward Gore, while as many (47%) prefer Bush.

While the Hispanic vote is becoming a more important factor in several states, nationwide Hispanics are slightly below the national average in voter registration. Fewer than two-thirds of Hispanics (62%) are registered to vote, compared to 73% overall.

Two Strong Democratic Constituencies

The Democratic Party has an even greater edge among two other smaller constituencies — Jewish Americans and Asian-Americans. Jewish Americans are registered in overwhelming numbers (83%) and support the party in large numbers. Three-in-four (75%) align themselves with or lean toward the Democratic Party, and just as many (77%) approve of Clinton’s performance in office. What’s more, Gore maintains a substantial lead over Bush (69% vs. 28%) among Jewish Americans. (See table on next page.)

Jewish Americans are much more tolerant on social issues than most Americans and express greater satisfaction with their own financial situation.

Asian-Americans also tend to support the Democratic Party and its candidates — more than half (53%) at least lean toward identifying with the party and they support Gore over Bush by nearly a two-to-one margin (60% vs. 32%). But Asian-Americans are registered to vote in extremely low numbers. Just over one-third (36%) say they are registered, compared to 73% overall.

At the same time, Asian-Americans are substantially more pro-government than the average American. Nearly two-thirds of Asians (65%) believe government regulation of business is needed to protect the public interest, compared to less than half (48%) overall. At the same time, Asian-Americans express less confidence as a group in America’s ability to solve its pressing problems.

Cite this publication: “Retro-Politics.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (November 11, 1999) http://www.people-press.org/1999/11/11/retro-politics/, accessed on July 22, 2014.