NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
On April 18, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released a report with detailed findings from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 13,846 Asian American voters in the November 2016 elections. It showed just 18 percent supporting Donald Trump and four out of five supporting Hillary Clinton.
A National Exit Poll by Edison Research released after the November election showed Asian American support for Trump at 27 percent and Clinton at 65 percent. But the Edison Research also did not conduct any polling in languages other than English and Spanish, while AALDEF had questionnaires in English and 11 Asian languages, including Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, as well as volunteers reaching out in 23 Asian languages and dialects.
AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung said, “With overwhelming Asian American support for Democratic candidates in the 2016 elections and a rejection of the Trump agenda, it will be important to watch the growth of Asian American voter participation in the 2018 midterm elections.”
Broken down by party affiliation and ethnicity, the top three groups who voted for Clinton are predominantly Democrats. At least a quarter of Asian Americans have not subscribed to a political party.
It is also interesting to note that more foreign-born and naturalized Asian American citizens voted for Trump, while American-born Asians largely went with Clinton.
The vast majority of Muslim Asian Americans, 97 percent, voted for Clinton, while over a quarter of Protestant and Catholic Asian Americans held on to Trump.
Seventy-eight percent of respondents supported stricter gun control laws. Overall, 65 percent supported comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, and 65 percent supported laws to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Fifty percent of voters polled said they do not think that the police treat racial and ethnic groups equally.
The largest Asian ethnic groups in the exit poll were Chinese (35 percent), Asian Indian (13 percent), Bangladeshi (11 percent), and Korean (10 percent). Nearly one-third (30 percent) were first-time voters.