2012 National Asian American Survey Results

On Tuesday, the 2012 National Asian American Survey (NAAS) results were released (coincidentally on National Voter Registration Day). NAAS is a scientific and nonpartisan effort to poll the opinions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The survey included over 3,300 telephone interviews. The survey was coordinated by Karthick Ramakrishnan, Director and Principal Investigator (associate professor, UC Riverside) and Taeku Lee, Principal Investigator (professor, UC Berkeley). There were some interesting findings, including:

  • Among likely voters, 43 percent of Asian Americans support Barack Obama, while 24 percent prefer Romney. There are considerable differences by ethnic group: Indian Americans show the strongest support for Obama (68 percent), and Samoans and Filipinos show strongest support for Romney (39 percent and 38 percent, respectively).
  • Democrats have a 34 percent to 18 percent advantage among Asian Americans, but a majority of Asian Americans (51 percent) are Independent or do not identify with the U.S. party system. This figure is higher than the average for the national population (40 percent).
  • … the survey data show that 32 percent of likely Asian American voters remain undecided after the presidential nominating conventions, much higher than the estimated 7 percent rate among the general population. Moreover, one in six Asian Americans lives in a battleground state during the 2012 presidential election.

I find it *shocking* that 32% of likely Asian Americans voters are undecided between Obama or Romney. Talk about a swing vote! (especially in swing states like Nevada and Virginia) As Obama (and perhaps also Romney has said), this year is a clear choice between the two candidates – so I am not sure how one could be undecided. This stat also leads me to believe that Asian Americans continue to be somewhat apathetic to following politics as well as the overall voting process. Or possibly that those surveyed felt uncomfortable sharing their choice? This past Saturday, Saturday Night Live did a skit on the undecided voter, too bad they didn’t include any Asian Americans…

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Author: John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)