Record Asian American Turnout in Early Analysis of 2020 Election

Source: TargetSmart

One of the reasons why I’ve been involved in politics and civically engaged since 2004 and why I blog about such issues since 2007 in the Asian American community is because since 2007 is because I saw a lack of involvement.

Traditionally, Asian Americans have had the least voting turnout of any demographic group. I don’t know if that is still the case in 2020, we’ll have to wait for the final electorate analysis. While following the national and local election results last week, I was delighted to read that Asian American turnout was fantastic. Early polling analysis on November 2nd (the day before the election) from polling firm TargetSmart on early voting (absentee, mail in ballots) stated:

But broadly, the biggest surges in turnout are coming from Asian American voters, who have exceeded their total 2016 vote in every single southern and sunbelt presidential battleground state already.

…Consider this data regarding the current early vote electorate as compared to the final overall 2016 electorate in presidential battleground states: … Asian American voters are at 1.8%, while they accounted for 1.2% of 2016’s total vote

The CEO of TargetSmart on November 6th had tweeted:

“While we’re waiting for “the official call”, I wanted to share some really impressive stats around AAPI participation in this election, because the numbers are truly remarkable.

First, in presidential battlegrounds, 19% more AAPI voters cast a ballot in the early vote than voted in entirety in the 2016 election. The only other group to see their early vote exceed their 2016 total turnout was Latino voters, albeit by a narrower margin.

Nationally, 5% more AAPI voters cast a ballot than voted in the entirety of the 2016 election.

In every single battleground state, AAPI voters saw a bigger percent increase in votes cast, relative to ’16, than any other group.

In Georgia, AAPI early voters exceeded their total 2016 turnout by 57%. 30,473 voted for the first time in their life, and 61,829 didn’t vote in 2016.”

These are really some amazing early numbers! I also saw these interesting TargetSmart numbers posted via Instagram by AAPI Progressive Action:

From the early exit polls:

“The NBC News Exit Poll of early and Election Day voters indicated that 63 percent of Asian American voters across the country voted for Biden. A minority of the group voted for Trump, at 31 percent. Janelle Wong, senior researcher at the data and policy nonprofit AAPI Data, said the results track with the behavior she has observed during the election cycle. … Data from the 2016 election cycle indicate that in 2016, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton got 65 percent of Asian American votes, while Trump got 27 percent.”

Despite this data, I consider the gold standard for post-election analysis for a presidential campaign for Asian Americans is the National Asian American Survey.  That takes many months to publish, and I look forward to seeing the results, which I will share here.


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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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