Latinos, wealth, immigration, housing, voting, Florida, elections


In this article, I explore how race, class, and migration influence Latino household wealth, and uncover important implications for the close 2016 US presidential election outcome in Florida. I follow over 11,000 homeowners in the Orlando area of Orange County, Florida from 2004 to 2016. To proxy for immigrant incorporation, I leverage matched voter registration records and direct observation of borrower identification – driver’s license, green card/passport, or undocumented identification. Documented immigrants appear least vulnerable to foreclosure; multivariate analyses show that Latinos with undocumented identification are most vulnerable. Foreclosure and negative equity predict decreases in voter activity among Latino Democrats and Latino Independents, respectively, but not among Latino Republicans. I confirm this pattern at the precinct-level using data on all Orange County voters. Across Florida, county-level Latino foreclosures and lagging home prices correspond to a decline in the Democratic presidential vote from 2012 to 2016. My analysis reveals the mechanisms that erase Latino home equity and how the loss of wealth may have played a role in flipping Florida from a blue state to a red state.

Original Publication Citation

Rugh, Jacob S. 2019. “Vanishing Wealth, Vanishing Votes? Latino Homeownership and the 2016 Election in Florida.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Taylor & Francis




Family, Home, and Social Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor