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Pack Your Politics! Assessing the Vote Choice of Latino Interstate Migrants

  • Robert R. Preuhs (a1)


While popular narratives regarding the destiny of demographics assume Latino interstate migrants will alter destination state politics as Latinos disperse across the states, no studies directly assess the empirical validity of the underlying assumption of migrant's political preferences. Moreover, established theories of domestic migrant preferences suggest a variety of potential individual-level behaviors that often diverge from the underlying assumption of a uniform introduction of more liberal voters. Employing data from the 2016 Collaborative Multiracial Post-Election Survey, this study presents an analysis on Latino interstate migrant voting behavior, while also overcoming a variety of data limitations in existing studies. Countering some previous findings that homophily, adaptation, or even a static liberal orientation describes migrant voting behavior, the results suggest that Latino interstate migrant preferences vary by the political context of their previous state of residence. The results imply that the destiny of demographics will be conditioned, to some extent, by the migratory patterns of Latinos and the dyad of departure and destination states. When Latinos leave liberal (conservative) states, they bring more liberal (conservative) policies. In short, Latinos seem to pack their politics when moving across state lines.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Robert R. Preuhs, Department of Political Science, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Campus Box 43, P.O. Box 173362, Denver, CO 80217-3362. E-mail:


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