My research broadly is on U.S. politics and individual political behavior, with an emphasis on variations in the political behavior of racial and ethnic groups. My research connects work on turnout, campaigns and elections, with insights from political science, sociology and psychology on ethno-racial identities in politics; communication studies of race and racism; and public health research on individual and community health indicators. In particular, my research examines the campaign targeting, political decision-making, and electoral impact of U.S. Latina/o/xs, a group whose rapid population growth and increasing influence have made it central to current and future trends in U.S. society and politics. I study Latina/o/xs, race and identity within the broader context of two core questions in political science. First, how do campaigns and elections affect ethno-racial identity attachments, partisan behaviors, and engagement with politics? Second, when and why do citizens vote and hold representatives accountable?
These questions motivate my three research agendas on immigration policy and politics; ethno-racial identity politics and group-centric political behavior; and elections, mobilization and voter turnout. In these areas, I devote the bulk of my energy to addressing questions about how electoral politics impact, and are impacted by, the U.S. Latina/o/x community. In this way, my theoretical and empirical focus is grounded in the view that Latina/o/x politics are U.S. politics, and U.S. politics are Latina/o/x politics. Understanding and effectively addressing some of the major policy and political challenges facing the country, broadly, and Latina/o/xs, specifically, requires a recognition of this fundamental duality.
Below and in the menu to the left are links to my current research.