Almost all Asian American voters, about 97%, think that a candidate’s policies are more important than their race or where they come from when they decide who to vote for. This is something most Asian American voters agree on—no matter where they’re from or how old they are.
At the same time, a big majority, 68%, believe it’s crucial to have a leader who cares about the Asian American community in the United States. The findings stem from a nationally representative survey conducted by the Pew Research Center between July 2022 and January 2023.
In this upcoming election, two candidates of South Asian descent, Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy, are vying for the Republican nomination. Despite their growing presence in the U.S. population, Asian Americans remain underrepresented among elected officials in the country. At the beginning of the 118th Congress, only 16 people in the House and two in the Senate claimed Asian ancestry.
When it comes to party preferences, 62% of Asian registered voters identify as Democrat or leaning Democratic, while 34% align with the Republican Party or lean Republican. A majority of Asian origin groups tend to favor the Democratic Party, but there are some exceptions. Vietnamese American voters, for example, tend to lean more Republican than Democrat, with 51% versus 42%.
Issues that matter most
Approximately 41% of Asian American registered voters identify inflation as the most pressing issue in their local communities.
Economic inequality follows as the second-most mentioned issue at 16%, followed by violent crime at 11%, and racism at 9%. These worries come after reports of violence against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But it’s important to note that both Republicans and Democrats agree that inflation is the top issue.
These answers change based on political preferences.
Republican-leaning Asian Americans are more likely to say that inflation is the most important issue compared to Democrats, by a big difference of 26 points. But both Republicans and Democrats agree that inflation is the top issue.
On the other hand, Democrat-leaning Asian American voters are more than twice as likely as Republicans to think that economic inequality is the biggest issue.
Among Asian American Republicans, violent crime is the second-most mentioned issue.
Asian American voters who were born in the United States are a little more likely than those who were born in another country to think that economic inequality is the biggest issue, by a difference of 10 points.