Sergio Garcia-Rios

Sergio Garcia-Rios

Assistant Professor Governement and Latina/o Studies

Cornell University


I was born and raised in Durango, Mexico but I consider El Paso, TX my second home, a fronterizo by choice. I am an Assistant Professor of Government and Latino Studies at Cornell University.

My research centers around the idea that immigrants develop portfolios of identities which are fluid, situational, and are used instrumentally. I also examine voter turnout, political participation, and public opinion, especially among Latino immigrants. Other academic interests include issues related to Latinos and the Voting Rights Act, border issues and border research, and the politics of Mexico.

I teach classes on immigration, race and ethnicity, Latino politics, and social science methodology. For more detailed information please visit the CV and Research sections of this website.


  • Latina/o Politics
  • Immigration
  • Social Identity
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Political Behavior
  • Political Methodology


  • PhD in Political Science, 2015

    University of Washington

  • MA in Political Science, 2012

    University of Washington

  • MA in Political Science, 2010

    University of Texas El Paso

  • BBA in Economics, 2007

    University of Texas El Paso

  • BA in Philosophy, 2007

    University of Texas El Paso



My research centers around the idea that immigrants develop portfolios of identities; I suggest that these identities are fluid, situational, and are used instrumentally. My current book manuscript explores these dynamics with a multi-method approach. I use a unique repeated cross-sectional sample survey, taking advantage of the numerous individual observations within a specific cohort and time period. I employ a hierarchical age period cohort analysis (HAPC) in the form of cross-classified models in which observations across the different surveys are nested within time periods and cohorts. The qualitative and quantitative evidence show the way in which Latino immigrants have developed and used these portfolios of identities.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

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Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • 2021 “Resistance and Quiescence: Re-examining the Feedback Effects of Punitive Policies” Perspectives on Politics [accepted for publication]

  • 2020 “Háblame de tí: Latino mobilization, group dynamics and issue prioritization in the 2020 Election” The Forum. Vol. 18. No. 4. De Gruyter, 2021.(with Angela Ocampo, Angie Gutierrez)

  • 2020 “Relative group discrimination and vote choice among Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Whites.” Politics, Groups, and Identities: 1-20. (with Berry, Justin A., Colin Cepuran)

  • 2019 ``Estimating Candidate Support in Voting Rights Act Cases: Comparing Iterative EI & EI-RxC Methods’’ Sociological Methods and Research. (with Loren Collingwood, Kassra Oskooii, and Matt Barreto)

  • 2018 “Direct and Indirect Xenophobic Attacks: Unpacking Portfolios of Identity” Political Behavior. (with Francisco Pedraza and Bryan Wilcox-Archuleta)

  • 2017 “El Peso del Voto Latino en 2016.” Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica, Vol. 17: Núm. 1, pp. 11-15

  • 2016 “eiCompare: Comparing ecological inference estimates across EI and EI:RxC.” The R Journal. (with Loren Collingwood, Kassra Oskooii, and Matt Barreto)

  • 2016 “Politicized Immigrant Identity, Spanish Language Media, and Political Mobilization In 2012” in Jones-Correa & McCann (eds.) “Immigrants Inside Politics/Outside Citizenship” The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences (with Matt Barreto)

  • 2014 “Revisiting Latino Voting: Cross-Racial Mobilization in the 2012 Election” Political Research Quarterly. 67:4 (Sep). (with Loren Collingwood and Matt Barreto)

  • 2012 “El poder del Voto Latino en Estados Unidos en 2012” Foreign Affairs Latino América. 12:4 (Nov). (with Matt Barreto)

  • 2011 “The Politics and Policy of the Economic Determinants of Civic Participation on Latino Communities.” Journal of Public Administration and Management, 2011. (with Stephen A. Nuño)

Edited Volume Book Chapters

  • 2012 “Economic Policy Matters: Incentives that Drive Mexicans Northward,” with Kathy Staudt, in Baumann, Mechthild/ Lorenz, Astrid/ Rosenow, Kerstin (eds.) Crossing and Controlling Borders - Immigration Policies and their Impact on Migrants’ Journeys. Germany: Leverkusen-Opladen et al.: Budrich UniPress, 2011, pp. 205-226.

Public Writing

  • “Here’s what the Democrats need to do to get the DREAM Act through Congress” (with Kassra Okooii and Hannah Walker). London School of Economics USAPP Blog
  • “Allies in name only? Latino-only leadership on DACA may trigger implicit racial biases among White liberals” (with Kassra Okooii and Hannah Walker). London School of Economics USAPP Blog
  • “Here’s what the democrats need to do to get the DREAM Act through congress” (with Kassra Okooii and Hannah Walker). London School of Economics USAPP Blog
  • “No, Trump didn’t do surprisingly well among Latino voters: Let’s once and for all dispense with that exit-poll-based fiction” (with Tyler Reny). Daily News - January 2017
  • “Trump’s Future and the Jorge Ramos Effect” Univision - March 2016
  • “Hosting SNL Could Hurt Donald Trump With Voters” TIME - November 2015
  • “The ’Jorge Ramos Effect’ Could Hurt Donald Trump” TIME - August 2015

Articles Under Review and Working Papers

`Comparing the Impacts of Group Position on Vote Choice.’’ (with Justin Berry and Colin Cepuran) [Revise & Resubmit]

– Con la Ayuda de Dios: A Study of Religion, Identity and Latino Political Participation” with Kiku E Huckle, [Revise and Resubmit - Religion & Politics]

– Perennial and Situational: A Study of Immigrant Identity Formation and Transformation [Under Review]

– Is the Tea Party Splitting [the] Right Down the Middle?” with (with Christopher Parker, Kassra Oskooii, and Christopher Towler) [working paper]

– The DREAM Act Experiment: Exposing Covert Racism amongst White Liberals with Kassra Oskooii [Working Paper]

– Exploring Phone and Internet Survey Mode Effects on Race Sensitive Questions. (with Kassra Oskooii), [Working Paper]

– Threatening America: The Impact of Perceived Discrimination on Latino and Muslim American Political Behavior” with Kassra Okooii, [Working Paper]

Curriculum Vitae

Download full CV here



Cornell Univeristy

2020 - Present Co-Director Politics of Race, Immigration, Class and Ethnicity (PRICE) initiative

2015 - Present, Assistant Professor - Government, Latino Studies.

Non-Academic Appointments

Univision News

2019-Present - Director of Polling and Data


2015 - PhD, University of Washington, Political Science.

  • Sub Fields: American Politics / Race, Ethnicity and Politics / Methodology
  • Committee: Matt Barreto, Luis Fraga, Christopher Parker, Christopher Adolph

2013 - MA, University of Washington, Political Science.

2010 - MA, University of Texas at El Paso, Political Science.

2007 - BBA, BA, University of Texas at El Paso, Economics, Philosophy.


2019 - APSA Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Award for Exemplary Mentoring of Latino/a Junior Faculty in Political Science

Research Grants and Fellowships

  • 2019 - Institute for the Social Sciences Grant $6,000
  • 2018 - APSA Cenenial Fellowship $2,200
  • 2014 - Center for Social Science Computation and Research Fellowship - $45,000
  • 2014 - Center for Democracy and Voting Rights Fellowship - $5,000
  • 2013 - Center for Democracy and Voting Rights Fellowship - $5,000
  • 2011 - Russell F. Stark Fellowship - $4,000
  • 2010 - Present WISER Survey Research Fellowship -$20,000
  • 2010 - University of Washington, Political Science Summer Fellowship - $4,000
  • 2010 - Graduate Opportunities & Minority Achievement Fellowship - $25,000
  • 2010 - Donald R. Matthews Fellowship, University of Washington - $20,000

Teaching Experience

Cornell Unaiversity

  • GOVT 6029 Advanced Regression Analysis
  • GOVT 4283 Latino Politics as Racial Politics
  • GOVT 4032 Immigration and Politics Research Seminar
  • GOVT 3990 Puzzle Solving with Data

University of Washington

  • POLS 503: Advanced Quantitative Methodology, Teaching Assistant (PhD Level Class)
  • POLS 501: Advanced Research Design and Analysis, Teaching Assistant (PhD Level Class)
  • LAW 554/JSIS: Research Tuturioal (PhD Level Class)
  • POLS 353: U.S. Congress, Teaching Assistant
  • POLS 202: Introduction to American Politics, Teaching Assistant

University of Texas at El Paso

American Government and Politics, Summer 2010, Spring 2010, Lecturer

Research Experience and Statistical Consulting

  • The Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) - Consultant – 2014-2015
  • The Washington Poll - Senior Researcher – 2012-2015
  • Center for Democracy and Voting Rights Research - Fellow – 2012-2015
  • Latino Decisions - Senior Researcher – 2012-Present


I teach classes on Latino politics, Immigration, race and etnicity, and political methodology at Cornell University. Find a brief description of the classes and seminars I am currently taching. You can also find the full syllabus following the links to the class website.

Puzzle Solving with Data - GOVT 3990

Course Description

In this class we introduce basic statistical reasoning with an emphasis on problems encountered in social science research. We explore the use of statistical tools to answer scientific research questions, and investigate the pitfalls associated with the misuse of statistics. By the end of the course students will be equipped to take more advanced statistics courses, and better prepared to evaluate quantitative claims made by social scientists and the media. Topics include: measurement and summary of data, exploratory data analysis, commonly-used probability distributions, statistical inference, basic linear regression and data visualization.

Visit the class website here

Advanced Regression Analysis - GOVT 6029

Course Description

This course builds upon 6019, covering in detail the interpretation and estimation of multivariate linear regression models. We derive the Ordinary Least Squares estimator and its characteristics using matrix algebra and determine the conditions under which it achieves statistical optimality. We then consider the circumstances in social scientific contexts which commonly lead to assumption violations, and the detection and implications of these problems. This leads to modified regression estimators that can offer limited forms of robustness in some of these cases. Finally, we briefly introduce likelihood-based techniques that incorporate assumptions about the distribution of the response variable, focusing on logistic regression for binary dependent variables. Students are expected to produce a research paper built around a quantitative analysis that is suitable for presentation at a professional conference. Some time will be spent reviewing matrix algebra, and discussing ways to implement computations using statistical software.

Visit the class website here

Latino Politcs as Racial Politcs - GOVT 4283

Course Description

This class examines the history and contemporary role of Latinos as a minority group in the U.S. political system. This course is intended as an overview of the political position of Latinos y Latinas in the United States. We place special emphasis on how Latinos became racial group which allows us to focus on political relationships between Latinos and non-Latinos as they relate to political institutions, political parties, voting coalitions, representation and public policy.

Immigration and Politics - GOVT 4032

Course Description

Latinos are a greater presence in American society and political life than ever before. Students in this course will explore themes such as immigration, political incorporation, inter-ethnic relations through both wide-ranging readings and the use of a unique dataset– the 2006 Latino National Survey, a survey of 8,600 Latinos across 15 states, which includes questions ranging from crime and education to transnationalism and discrimination. Students will be expected to learn and use statistical software to conduct preliminary analyses of these data, and to use these data and other resources to explore original research projects. Prior coursework in American politics is recommended; no prior exposure to statistical software required