Michael Jones-Correa Traces U.S. Political Perspectives of Latino Immigrants

When political scientist Michael Jones-Correa, a professor of political science, began looking at public opinion data published in the American National Election Study, he noticed one population missing: Latino immigrants. Now, he is working to help give them a voice.

For decades, the main source of public opinion data on American politics has been the American National Election Study, but ANES only interviewed citizens, which failed to account for the perspectives of many foreign-born adults.

Along with a colleague, James McCann of Purdue University, he decided to close the gap in the data.

Beginning in 2012, Jones-Correa, presidential professor of political science in Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences, and McCann conducted the first Latino Immigrant National Election Study, or LINES, which surveyed a nationwide mix of more than 1,300 Latino citizens, permanent legal residents and people considered undocumented.

LINES was designed to parallel ANES, gathering data before and after the 2012 elections. Both studies evaluated levels of interest, participation and trust in policymakers and respondents’ perspectives of the two major political parties.

“Together, LINES and ANES readily allow for joint analysis and a more comprehensive snapshot for researchers,” says Jones-Correa. “While it was not possible to cover the entire non-citizen population, this was our way of making the study of public opinion and political behavior during a major campaign cycle more representative of the public at large.”

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