Campus & Community

Visiting political scientist to discuss the changing American voter

Luis Fraga, Assoc. Vice Proost for Faculty Advancement

On the heels of another presidential election, more Americans are asking the questions of how the country’s changing demographics are going to affect politics and policy making in 2016 and beyond.

Dr. Luis Ricardo Fraga, professor of political science at Notre Dame, will talk about this issue and more as the featured speaker at the Notre Dame Club of the Palm Beaches 18th annual lecture event.

The talk, titled “The Changing American Voter in 2016 and Beyond,” takes place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 in Meldon Lecture Hall at Palm Beach State College’s Palm Beach Gardens campus. The event is free and open to the public.

“We are all living today through one of the greatest demographic transformations in American history,” said Fraga. “Racial ethnic shifts, generational shifts and political socialization shifts are happening right now and are only going to continue.”

A native of Texas, Fraga will also show how the demographic shifts are not just shifts in total numbers but are shifts in where more diverse people are living. “It’s just about everywhere across the country,” says Fraga.

Fraga believes that this non-white influence in national and state electoral politics will only increase as their percentage of the population grows and that these voters can be determinative in affecting the outcome of elections for both parties.

Participants will also learn why the Latino population is growing so fast, and statistics on minorities who are qualified to vote versus those who actually register, among others.

Fraga, who is the Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership at Notre Dame, has studied the complex interactions of demographics and the evolution of American politics for more than 30 years. He is the author of five books and more than three dozen articles relating to elections, Latino politics, voting rights, immigration policy and educational politics. In 2011, he was named by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Commission of Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where he co-chairs the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee.

The talk is part of an outreach program of the Notre Dame Alumni Association. Annually, more than 100 Notre Dame faculty members give talks throughout the country on a wide variety of subjects. The program, called the Hesburgh Lecture Series, is named for the late Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C. who was Notre Dame’s president for 35 years.

For more information, contact event coordinator Tom Magill, an adjunct professor and Notre Dame alumnus, at 561-842-3019 or magillt@palmbeachstate.edu.

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