Post-Election Survey of Asian American Voters in 2012

Last week, The Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), a member of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, along with Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and the National Asian American Survey (NAAS), released preliminary findings of a post-election poll of Asian American voters: Behind the Numbers: Post-Election Survey of Asian American Voters in 2012 (373 kb, .PDF).

From the press release, the preliminary post-election poll report’s key findings include:

  • AA_logosThe Asian American electorate has been steadily growing with each presidential election and is projected to be close to 3 percent of all votes cast in the 2012 election. (pp. 3-4).
  • 71% of Asian Americans voters in November 2012 cast their ballot for President Obama, and 28% voted for Governor Mitt Romney. (p. 5).
  • We estimate that about 3.2 million Asian Americans cast ballots in November 2012, with about 2.3 million for President Obama and 900,000 for Governor Romney. (p. 5).
  • President Obama’s total popular vote margin of victory is estimated at 4.7 million. The AAPI vote contributed a net 1.4 million votes to this margin. Without the AAPI vote, President Obama’s popular vote margin would have been 3.3 million. (p. 5).
  • In 2012, there was a significant increase in voter mobilization efforts by community organizations; still, most Asian American voters (65 percent) report that they received no contact about the election. (p. 7).
  • Among those who were contacted by political parties, contact by Democrats was more frequent than contact by Republicans. (p. 7).
  • On issues relevant to Asian American voters, the strongest gaps in support for President Obama over Governor Romney were on issues of immigration, racial discrimination, health and environment. The smallest gap was on national security issues. (p. 9).
  • Nearly one half of Asian American registered voters remain independent or undecided with respect to their party identification, pointing to the possibility that many remain open to persuasion and outreach in future elections. (pp. 9-10).

I think the most interesting new fact that I got from this preliminary report was that nearly 50% of those who voted were independents or not registered or affiliated with a particular party.  Given what we blogged about back in September about the most non-partisan cities in California tended to have a large Asian American population, this is not too surprising.

Given how Asian Americans voted for Obama in 2012, it’s the Democrats to lose the Asian American vote for 2016. Not surprisingly given Romney’s policies on immigration and the anti-immigration rhetoric of the far Tea Party right, Asian Americans had the biggest differences with the Republicans on immigration and racial discrimination. I have my own thoughts as to why Asian Americans overwhelmingly voted for Obama as well as why our community has shifted from voting Republican to Democratic over the past 30 years and will blog about this in the near future.

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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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