While the results of various polling data vary, it was reported that the Hispanics' share of the voters had risen to 9 percent in the 2008 presidential election.3 Yet, there are a significant number of variables within this bloc that creates differences in their voting habits. Age, country of origin, education, language preference, religion, economic status, acculturation, and region of residence all contribute to the voting behaviors and political preferences of the Latino voter.4 Gender may play an even more pivotal role when a Latino selects a candidate or supports an issue. Women account for only 49 percent of the Hispanic population, but make up 53 percent of the Hispanics that cast a vote in 2004.5 Politicians and lawmakers would both be well served with an understanding of the ways in which gender impacts the Latino vote. Campaigns, platforms, policies, and laws could be constructed in an effort to gain the support of this important voting group. Understanding the role that gender plays in Latino partisanship would not only aid the politician seeking to gain a larger voting share, but would also benefit the Latino voter by making their preferences for policies and laws more widely known and more highly valued.
Making assumptions about the political preferences of any voting group can be mired in paradox and contradictions. The traditional view that Blacks tend to vote Democratic has been challenged in recent years by the conservative African-American movement that has demonstrated the fact that political parties can no longer take voting blocs for granted. This is especially true for the Hispanic female voter. Political leanings that may be influenced by socio-economic factors...
The author of the essay "Gender Gap Among Latino Partisans" makes the interesting conclusion. Latino men and Latina women have shown considerable support for the Democratic Party in the recent decades. Though this alliance is soft, it has been consistent. This has been largely due to the Republican's failure to address the social issues that Hispanics find important, rather than any success on the part of the Democrats. However, there has been little in the way of a gender gap among Latino partisans. The gap is generally small and may be a variable that changes with the state of current events, rather than being socially or culturally constructed. Generational impact and age works to heighten and solidify the party affiliation of the Hispanic population. This is the quality of age and maturity that affects all social, ethnic, and racial groups. If the Republican Party desires to gain a larger share of the Hispanic vote, they would do well to address the social issues that are important to Hispanics such as education, the economy, and health care. There is no significant gender gap on the issues that are important to Hispanics, only a difference in the greater importance that women place on these issues. The increased importance that women give these issues will demand that the Republican Party would need to confront these issues, which may be counter to their tradition of free market individualism. The strategy for gaining positive influence is largely the same as it would be for voters across the board.