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Who's really got the illegal vote? A third if illegal immigrants are 'political independents'

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Some political leaders and analysts have speculated there will be “an electoral bonanza for Democrats” if the nation’s estimated 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants - three quarters of whom are Hispanics - eventually are granted the right to vote,” say Eileen Patten and Mark Hugo Lopez, a pair of Pew Research Center analysts who base their conclusions on the most recent pile of voting statistics.

“In 2012, the Pew Research Center’s National Survey of Latinos found that among Latino immigrants who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents - and therefore likely unauthorized immigrants - some 31 percent identify as Democrats and just 4 percent as Republicans,” the analysts say.

“An additional 33 percent say they are political independents, 16 percent mention some other political party and 15 percent say they ‘don’t know’ or refuse to answer the question.”

Still, the numbers shows that unauthorized Hispanic immigrants lean more Democratic than Republican - though to a lesser degree than Hispanic immigrants who are currently eligible to vote.

“It’s uncertain whether these unauthorized immigrants, many of whom are currently unaffiliated, would adopt similar political affiliations and voting patterns if given the chance to naturalize,” the researchers say.

And among their findings, based on the National Election Pool and other sources:

57 percent of all registered Hispanic voters are Democrats, 14 percent are Republicans.

54 percent of foreign-born Hispanics who are U.S. citizens are Democrats, 11 percent are Republicans.

53 percent of native-born Hispanics are Democrats, 12 percent are Republicans.

49 percent of Hispanics who are legal permanent U.S. residents are Democrats, 8 percent are Republicans.

33 percent of the 11.1 million unauthorized Hispanics are political independents, 31 percent are Democrats.

27 percent don’t identify with, or lean toward, either major party; 4 percent are Republicans.

Source: A Pew analysis of the Pew Research Center National Survey of Latinos released Monday.

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