Republicans losing ground among Hispanic voters

As pundits and politicians continue to analyze the results of Tuesday's election, one thing is clear -- Republicans presidential candidates are losing ground among Hispanic voters.

Forty-four percent of Hispanics voted Republican in 2004. That dropped to 31 percent in 2008. In the 2012 election, it dropped to 27 percent.

It's a trend that is worrying Republicans, even those who may agree, in principle, with Mitt Romney's declaration during the second debate that the U.S. should "not grant amnesty to those who have come here illegally."

Some Republicans are now questioning whether some kind of a pathway should be created for illegal immigrants who are already here.

Conservative columnist and Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer wrote in his column on Friday that Republicans should "promise amnesty right up front. Secure the border with guaranteed legalization to follow on the day the four border-state governors affirm that illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle."

Hispanic advocates say President Obama won support among Latinos after his administration said it would stop deporting certain young illegal immigrants.

Jennifer Korn, the executive director of Hispanic Leadership Network, said that decision, "although super-political, it still fared well with Hispanics"

Cuban-Americans, who had previously been considered part of the GOP base, may be drifting away. More of Florida's Cuban-Americans voted Democratic than Republican in 2012 -- according to Fox News exit polls, 49 percent voted Democratic while 47 percent voted Republican. That's a massive shift from 2004, when 78 percent of them voted Republican.

"An increasing portion of Cuban-Americans are not the people that fled from Cuba at various times but people who have grown up (in the U.S.) ... and they are not as heavily Republican as their parents," political analyst Michael Barone said.

Barone also said many Hispanic immigrants came from countries with bigger government and more government-provided services, which they want here in the U.S. -- and therefore vote for Democrats.