Northwest Asian Weekly
A survey by Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and AAPI Data demonstrates that exclusionary rhetoric alters significantly the way Asian Americans will vote and how they view candidates.
The report released May 23 titled “Inclusion, Not Exclusion” polled 1,212 Asian American voters and was conducted in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, and Vietnamese. It found that a majority of voters disliked Donald Trump, were more enthusiastic about voting compared to earlier elections, and — despite increased enthusiasm — had not been contacted by any political parties or civic engagement nonprofits.
“Voter outreach and education by nonpartisan organizations remains critical and 2016 is poised to be the largest mobilization effort we have seen for the AAPI community,” said Christine Chen, executive director of APIAVote. “The survey shows key problem spots where Asian American registered voters feel that the political system is not responsive to their needs. Greater investments are needed from the campaigns and parties.”
The survey also indicates that a significant number of Asian American voters have shifted toward identifying as Democrat over the last four years, although a large proportion of the community continues to identify as Independent.
The data provides a clear snapshot on how Asian American voters feel about a number of different issues. The areas of concern of Asian American voters reflect the concerns held by all voters on national issues, including economic security, immigration, gun control, and the threat of terrorist attacks.
On issues of importance to Asian American voters, which include jobs and the economy, education, healthcare, and the environment, Democrats are viewed as doing a better job. It is important to note that on the issue of the threat of terrorism, the parties are evenly matched.
Other notes of importance in the survey include:
- Donald Trump has the highest net unfavorable view among Asian American voters (19% favorable-61% unfavorable, compared to 41% favorable-56% unfavorable among the general population).
- Hillary Clinton has the highest net favorable view among Asian American voters (62% favorable-26% unfavorable).
- Bernie Sanders struggles to gain recognition among Asian American voters (48% favorable, 22% unfavorable, and 30% with no opinion).
- Asian American voters are progressive on most issues, including the Affordable Care Act, gun control, environmental protection, and increasing government spending to make higher education affordable.