Marisa Abrajano's research is in the field of American politics, particularly in the areas of campaigns, mass electoral behavior, and race/ethnic politics. She is the author of two books: Campaigning to the New American Electorate: Television Advertising to Latinos (Stanford University Press) and New Faces, New Voices: The Hispanic Electorate in America (with R. Michael Alvarez) published by Princeton University Press. Her other work has been published in several journals in the discipline.
She is interested in examining whether the traditional theories of mass political and electoral behavior can be applied to and are appropriate for an increasingly diverse American electorate. While the demographic characteristic of race/ethnicity has been established in the literature as an important predictor of mass political behavior, it has mostly been examined from a Black-White perspective. But with the large influx of Latino and Asian immigrants over the past three decades, it is unclear how their political behavior fits into this pre-existing framework. Thus a large part of her research agenda investigates whether the discipline's established theories on voting, campaigns, and public opinion need to be reassessed in light of the changing racial and ethnic composition of the American public.