Latino voters overwhelmingly support tax increases on the wealthiest Americans as a way to reduce the deficit and deal with the looming fiscal cliff.
According to a new impreMedia/Latino Decisions survey of more than 5,600 Latino voters, a whopping 77 percent favor increasing taxes on the wealthy. While the vast majority of Democratic Latino voters -- 86 percent -- fall into that category, so do 51 percent of Republican Latino voters.
Only 12 percent say they favor a spending cuts-only approach, according to the survey.
As the fiscal cliff looms and Republican lawmakers look to gain support from Hispanic voters, the survey results indicate that as far as taxes go, Latinos currently agree with Democrats' desire to raise taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year.
Independent Latino voters -- those not attached to either party and thus viewed by both Republicans and Democrats as valuable potential assets to be courted -- favor increasing taxes on the wealthy at a rate of 77 percent.
And, as political opinion research firm Latino Decisions co-founder Matt Barreto noted in a blog post, "Among self-described born-again Christians, a subgroup of Latinos that George W. Bush carried in 2004, 69% support raising taxes on the wealthy as part of a deficit plan."
Barreto also notes that 31 percent of Latino voters would be more likely to vote Republican in future elections if the party "took a leadership role and helped to pass comprehensive immigration reform." Among those potential Republican voters, only 13 percent support a spending-cuts only approach while 77 percent support taxes on the wealthy to reduce the deficit.
Republicans lost badly with Hispanic voters during the recent election cycle and while many Republican lawmakers have looked to gain Latino support by softening their tone on immigration, they also risk losing support as they debate how best to solve the fiscal cliff issue.
"Simply put, while Republicans look to make in-roads with Latinos on a softer approach to immigration," Barreto wrote, "they risk alienating more than three-quarters of potential [Latino] voters if they oppose tax increases on the wealthy."