Survey: More Arizona Latinos Are Siding With Independents

By Will Stone
Published: Wednesday, January 27, 2016 - 6:01pm
Updated: Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 11:16am
Jude Joffe-Block/KJZZ

Arizona’s Latino community is gravitating away from either major political party.

Those were the findings of a recent survey by an organization hoping to reform elections in the state. 

About 40 percent of Latinos in Arizona are Independent, a trend that becomes even more pronounced among millennials. According to the survey, more than 75 percent of respondents said Latinos should register as Independent and eschew the established parties. This is good news for supporters of a ballot initiative that would allow independents to run in the primary.

Danny Ortega is a co-chair of the Open and Honest Elections Coalition.  

He said Latinos, who were once loyal to democrats, are increasingly disillusioned with the party’s inability to make meaningful progress on immigration, education and other issues.  

“They don’t see the party as effective, number one," Ortega said. "Number two, every state office is controlled by Republicans. The legislature is controlled by Republicans, and so Latinos don’t feel like they are part of the end game.”

Ortega’s organization must collect more than 100,000 signatures by early July to get the constitutional amendment for open primaries on the November ballot.