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Remnants Of Dust Bowl Migration Linger In Central Valley Politics, Says Researcher Adam Ramey

Dorothea Lange
Library of Congress
Dust bowl refugees along the highway near Bakersfield, California.

While some valley congressional districts flipped from red to blue, much of the state’s remaining republican strongholds are still in the San Joaquin Valley -- particularly Kern, Madera and Tulare Counties. This has a lot to do with the Dust Bowl, and the migrants who came to California in the 1920s and 30s. In fact, there’s a link between support for Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms and the degree to which a county’s population came from Dust Bowl states. That’s according to a new paper by Adam Ramey, a professor of Political Science at the New York University campus in the United Arab Emirates.

Listen to the interview above to hear Ramey talk about how the “stickiness” of culture from Dust Bowl migrants not only influenced their ancestors, but also Latino immigrants in the region.

Alice Daniel was News Director for KVPR from 2019-2022. Daniel has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and more than 25 years of experience as a print and radio journalist.
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