These are revised regularly and are available on request.

Turf Wars: Local Context and Latino Political Development. With Karen M. Kaufmann and Daniel Stevens.  Research demonstrates that competition over resources can have an important influence on minority political behavior.  To date however, the effects of these local conditions on Latino political behavior have gone largely unexamined.  Employing a most similar case study design to overcome the lack of data on intra-group attitudes and political behavior nationally, we examine the voting behavior of Cubans and non-Cuban Hispanics in two Florida counties. The Group Position thesis holds that status inequalities and perceived discrimination yield out-group hostilities that can influence political behavior. In Miami, where Cubans are dominant, we expect non-Cuban Latinos to report greater pan-Latino competition, and that anti-Cuban attitudes will influence non-Cuban Hispanic voting. In Tampa, where non-Cuban Latinos who live in communities where Cubans are not dominant, we expect lower levels of perceived competition and Cuban-related attitudes to be inconsequential to the vote. Our results confirm that power relations in the local arena constitute an important influence on the political behavior of Latino immigrants.

Issue Salience, Subconstituency Politics, and Legislative Representation: Evidence from the Armenian Genocide Resolution.  With Thomas Hayes.  To what extent are citizens able to control their elected officials?  Conflicting results in studies of legislative representation are frequently attributed to issue salience or subconstituency politics.  Unfortunately, the logic underlying these explanations has not yet been articulated, and data needed to test them do not exist. Employing a natural experiment, we exploit the sudden increase in issue visibility surrounding the consideration of the Armenian genocide resolution to investigate these theories.  We are unable to detect any evidence that salience as measured by visibility enhances responsiveness to majority opinion.  Instead, salience appears to alter legislators’ sensitivity to different intense subconstituency groups in their districts.  Consequently, our evidence confirms the role of salience but suggests that issue salience matters in a different way than previously theorized.  The results also suggest that popular sovereignty may be undermined when issue publics exist.

Why Won’t Little Havana Turn Blue?  The Political Behavior of Cuban Americans. With Casey Klofstad.  Over the last decade, pundits have increasingly predicted a massive shift in Cuban American voting behavior owing to demographic changes in the community.  Such a shift has yet to transpire, however, an outcome generally consistent with work on immigrant political incorporation.  These conflicting expectations highlight our lack of knowledge about the political behavior of Cuban Americans, one of the most salient Latino groups.  This paper examines the political implications of the changing demographics of the Cuban American community.  We find evidence that the attitudes of Cuban Americans have undergone significant changes, driven largely by the increased number of post-Mariel (1980) immigrants.  We also find, however, that these dramatic changes have not yet been reflected at the ballot box, nor are they likely to be soon, owing to the slow process of immigrant political incorporation.

The Political Discussion Networks of Immigrant and Native Born Voters. With Casey Klofstad.  While political discussion has become a common topic of research in political science, and despite the fact that immigrants have begun to comprise a larger portion of the United States population, immigrant political discussion networks have been understudied. In this paper we examine whether engaging in political discussion is a means by which to encourage immigrants to participate in political activities. Our evidence shows that while immigrants are as likely as native born citizens to engage in political discussions, immigrants are less likely to share politically-relevant information during such conversations. Further analysis shows that immigrants are less likely to exchange information because they have weaker political predispositions than native born citizens. As a consequence, the relationship between political talk and political participation is not statistically significant for immigrants.

The Statistical Analysis of Legislative Representation. With David Park.  Decades of research on legislative representation reaches mixed conclusions about when and whether legislators act on citizens’ behalf.  We argue that studies of representation seeking to evaluate legislators’ performance seldom provide meaningful assessments of the degree to which legislators act as their constituents prefer.  The indeterminacy of these studies results partly from the methods and measures commonly employed in the representation literature.  This paper seeks to document several of these problems, provide examples of how their use misinforms our understanding of the degree to which legislators respond to constituents’ preferences, and offers a new method for assessing the degree to which legislators act as their constituents prefer.

Gay Rights and Legislative Wrongs: The Representation of Gays and Lesbians. With Tony Smith.  Over the past half-century, students of democratic representation have investigated the extent to which elected officials act as their constituents prefer.  Less attention has been paid to the fact that in addition to popular sovereignty, however, modern republican democracy is characterized by the values of liberty and equality.  Democratic theorists suggest that these latter values should prevail in cases of conflict when the issue in question speaks to citizens’ fundamental rights, as is the case with gay marriage.  We examine this question of representation and responsiveness with respect to gay marriage, an issue of importance to the gay community—a small and intense group that struggles to achieve policy success.  We find that neither majoritarian nor capture-based theories of representation fully account for the lack of elected official responsiveness to this particular constituent interest group. Instead, our evidence supports the theory of subconstituency politics.  Consequently, we find little reason for optimism that legislation supporting gay marriage is likely to pass both because gay marriage is opposed by a competing subconstituency, Evangelical Christians, who are intense and larger in number.

Foreshadowing Gender Equality: Female Elites' Views of Democratic Progress in Latin America.  With Feryal Cherif.  While the importance of understanding what citizens mean by democracy and what constitutes democratic satisfaction are widely accepted, less well recognized are the potentially important implications of this work for advancing research on gender equality in developing democracies.  Drawing on the literatures on gender inequality and democratic satisfaction, and employing a cross-national survey of Latin American elites, we examine how female elites—those whose role in developing democracies is likely to be especially important for advancing gender equality—conceptualize democracy.  We find that in contrast to men, women tend to rely both on their perception of civil rights and, more curiously, on their confidence in the judiciary.  We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for studies of gender equality.