New survey: Asian Americans could play key role in outcome of presidential

Sorry for blogging so much about the election, but we are in the last few weeks until November 4th… This morning, the 2008 National Asian American Survey (NAAS) was released by researchers from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley); University of California, Riverside (UC Riverside); and University of Southern California (USC) which surveyed Asian American voters:

  • 41 percent of Asian Americans are likely to favor Obama, while 24 percent support John McCain.
  • In battleground states, where either candidate could win on Election Day, Obama leads with 43 percent of Asian Americans supporting him and 22 percent favoring McCain.
  • The research shows that support for the candidates does vary by Asian American ethnic groups. Among those who have made up their mind on a candidate, two-thirds of Vietnamese Americans support McCain; Japanese Americans, Chinese Americans, and Indian Americans support Obama by more than a three-to-one ratio; and Korean and Filipino Americans who are likely voters also support Obama over McCain, but the gap is much smaller, with ratios less than 1.4 to 1.
  • About 80 percent of likely voters who are Asian American list the economy as one of the most important problems the nation faces, followed by the war in Iraq.
  • Overall, 32 percent of all Asian Americans identify themselves as Democrats; 14 percent as Republicans; 19 percent as independents; and 35 percent as nonpartisan, not fitting into any of the major party categories.

The survey conducted over 4,394 telephone interviews of adult Asian Americans during August 18 – September 26, 2008, including 1,195 Chinese, 925 Asian Indian, 678 Vietnamese, 493 Korean, 493 Japanese, 486 Filipino, and 129 “Other Asian.” The survey was conducted in 8 different languages for 43% of the non-English interviews : (Vietnamese, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Japanese, Hindi)

I have always found that Vietnamese Americans are more Republican than any other Asian American ethnic group very interesting. I guess it is to be expected considering many Vietnamese Americans left due to the Communist regime. But there are plenty of Chinese Americans who group up under Communism or fled Communism from China to Taiwan or directly to the United States. Too bad that the survey didn’t breakdown to Taiwanese Americans as well!

I find it really surprising that, especially if you consider my parents’ generation and recent immigrants, that  support for decided Asian Americans, the gap between Obama and McCain are so high, especially considering that Obama is half-African American. (I would think that racial factors for older and more culturally conservatives might come into play… something I have discussed with my mother.)

As a Democrat, I find it reassuring that Asian Americans 2:1 are registered as Democrats as they are Republican. But this shouldn’t be that much of a surprise – since the greatest number of Asian Americans reside in “blue” states, like California and New York.

Unfortunately, as I had blogged about earlier today, the state of Asian American civic involvement is still pathetically low when it comes to getting involved or even voting (remember, young Asian Americans (between the ages of 18 to 25) are the least likely to vote of any ethnic group in the United States.)

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About 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...)
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