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PHOENIX -- The Republican Party's hold over Arizona could dwindle in the coming years because of a surge in the Latino population, a study said.

"All these new individuals that are adding to the population numbers are born in the United States, making them U.S. citizens and making them eligible to change the political context in the state of Arizona moving forward," said James Sanchez with the University of Mexico, one of the people involved in the study.

Sanchez said Republicans may face strong opposition as the population grows because more Latinos identify themselves as liberal.

"Arizona Hispanic voters have not quite abandoned the Republican Party completely, but are definitely moving in that direction," said James Sanchez with the University of Mexico, one of the people involved in the study. "Seventy-five percent of Latinos indicate that they are Democrats to only 19 percent Republicans.

"The picture is not all that pretty if you are with the GOP in the state," he said.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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