More than half of U.S. Hispanics identify themselves as political independents, though an even larger majority leans toward the Democratic Party, according to a USA Today/Gallup poll released Monday.

The survey was carried out April 16-May 31 among 1,753 Latino adults nationwide and has a margin of error of plus/minus three percentage points.

The polling sample included 1,005 registered voters.

Among all respondents, 51 percent identified as independents and 32 percent as Democrats, while only 11 percent said they were Republicans. The comparable figures for Hispanic registered voters were 45 percent, 36 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Answers to a further question about political sympathies showed 52 percent all of Latinos as Democratic-leaning, compared with 23 percent who described themselves as leaning toward the Republicans.

The data "confirm a growing trend toward independent political identification among U.S. Hispanics in recent years, surpassing the 50 percent mark in 2011, according to annual aggregate data from Gallup Daily tracking," Gallup said.

The latest survey also detected a divergence between immigrants and U.S.-born Latinos.

"Hispanic immigrants are much more likely than those born in the United States to lack a political party attachment, contributing to the high proportion of political independence among the U.S. Hispanic population in general," Gallup said.

A NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Telemundo poll released last Wednesday showed President Barack Obama leading presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among Latinos by 66 percent to 26 percent.

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