Adding a Latino Non-Citizen Module to the 2012 American National Election Study

Awarded Scholars:
Michael Jones-Correa, Harvard University
Project Date:
Oct 2012
Award Amount:
Project Programs:

The U.S. Latino population has grown substantially in recent years, with Latinos now comprising the largest ethnic group in the country. Given the increasing politicization of this growing segment of the U.S. population, researchers and policy analysts are devoting a considerable amount of attention to questions concerning public opinion, participation, and representation within the Latino community. In 2008, investigators affiliated with the American National Election Study (ANES) developed a “Latino oversample” to capture political attitudes and behavior within this population more accurately. This oversample will again be a component of the 2012 ANES.

While these oversamples will enrich research on Latino politics in many ways, they suffer from a significant gap in sampling: Latinos who are not U.S. citizens are excluded from the sampling frame. An estimated 43 percent of the 32 million Latino adults currently residing in the United States are non-citizens. Omitting them from the sampling frame of election-year surveys of Latinos risks serious bias in models of public opinion and campaign behavior. Political scientists James McCann and Michael Jones-Correa propose to close this gap by building on the ANES Latino oversample and adding a Latino non-citizen module.

McCann and Jones-Correa have identified three critical questions that cannot be answered with existing data: (1) the emergence and meaning of partisanship for Latino immigrants vis-à-vis U.S.-born Latinos and the American public in general; (2) the impact of transnational civic, economic, or personal ties on the development of U.S. partisanship and candidate choice; and (3) the effects of immigrant status on the political involvement of Latinos. To address these questions, a nationally representative two-wave panel survey of non-citizen Latino immigrants will be conducted. The pre-election survey will collect data from 725 Latino immigrants nationwide and the post-election survey will involve approximately 400 Latinos. This study will run parallel to the ANES and utilize the same bilingual instrumentation developed for the Latino citizen oversample.


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