New York…Asian American voters in 11 states strongly supported executive action on immigration reform (65%) and favored Democratic candidates in the 2014 midterm elections in eight states, according to updated results of an exit poll by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF). The multilingual exit poll of over 4,100 Asian American voters was conducted by AALDEF in collaboration with 65 national and local community groups, the largest survey of its kind in the nation.
Asian Americans said that the top issues influencing their votes for Congress were Economy/Jobs (50%); Health Care (34%); Education (32%); and Immigration (19%).
In response to the question “If Congress does not act on immigration reform, do you think President Obama should take his own executive actions on immigration?” 65% of Asian Americans polled said yes.
AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung said, “Asian American voters, including those not enrolled in a political party, continued to support Democratic candidates in 2014, although this support has declined since the 2012 elections. As to immigration policy, two out of three Asian Americans want President Obama to take executive action on immigration.”
The 2014 AALDEF Asian American Exit Poll provides a unique snapshot of the voting patterns of Asian Americans in 11 states with large or fast-growing Asian American populations: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, and Washington, DC. It was conducted at 63 poll sites in 12 languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Khmer, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, and English.
AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. In the 2012 presidential election, AALDEF polled 9,096 Asian American voters in 14 states.
Selected 2014 exit poll highlights:
- Among the 4,100 Asian American voters polled, the largest Asian ethnic groups were Chinese (37%), South Asian (26%), Korean (13%), Vietnamese (11%) and Filpino (6%).
- 10% of Asian Americans were first-time voters.
- 84% of Asian American voters were foreign-born naturalized citizens.
- 45% of Asian American voters were limited English proficient.
- 57% of Asian Americans were registered Democrats, 26% were not enrolled in a political party, and 14% were registered Republicans.
In the selected state races below, Asian American voters, including those not enrolled in a political party (“independent voters”) supported Democratic candidates, except in Louisiana, Georgia, and Texas (declared winner in bold):
VIRGINIA – US Senate Party Affiliation: 42% Democratic, 23% Republican, and 30% Not Enrolled in a PartyAsian American vote: Mark Warner-D 66%, Ed Gillespie-R 33%, Other 1%How Asian American independents voted: 66% D, 34% R
MASSACHUSETTS – GovernorParty Affiliation: 44% D, 9% R , and 46% Not Enrolled in a PartyAsian American vote: Martha Coakley-D 68%, Charlie Baker-R 27%, Other 4%How independents voted: 63% D, 31% R, 6% other
PENNSYLVANIA – GovernorParty Affiliation: 50% D, 19% R and 30% Not Enrolled in a PartyAsian American vote: Tom Wolf-D 82%, Tom Corbett-R 17%, Other 1%How independents voted: 87% D, 13% RNote: Democrats voted strongly along party lines (98% of registered Democrats voted for the Democratic candidate); Republicans crossed over more than Democrats (66% of registered Republicans voted for the Republican candidate; 31% of Republicans voted for the Democratic candidate).
TEXAS – GovernorParty Affiliation: 31% D, 34% R, and 31% Not Enrolled in a PartyAsian American vote: Wendy Davis-D 47%, Greg Abbott-R 51%, 2% did not voteHow independents voted: 47% D, 46% R, 7% did not vote
LOUISIANA – SenateParty Affiliation: 55% Not Enrolled in a Party, 28% R, 12% D, and 5% OtherAsian American vote: Mary Landrieu-D 32%, Bill Cassidy-R 55%, 8% other (to be decided in runoff) How independents voted: 48% R, 34% D, 12% other, 6% did not vote
GEORGIA – SenateParty affiliation: 34% Not Enrolled in a Party, 33% D, 29% R, and 4% OtherAsian American vote: Michelle Nunn-D 52%, David Perdue-R 45%, 3% did not voteHow independents voted: 48% R, 46% D, 6% did not vote
NEW JERSEY – SenateParty affiliation: 56% D, 13% R, 28% Not Enrolled in a Party, and 3% OtherAsian American vote: Cory Booker-D 79%, Jeff Bell-R 16%, Other 3%, 2% did not voteHow independents voted: 70% D, 25% R, 4% Other, 1% did not vote
MICHIGAN – SenateParty affiliation: 55% D, 10% R, 35% Not Enrolled in a Party, and 2% OtherAsian American vote: Gary Peters-D 80%, Terri Lynn Land-R 15%, Other 3%, 2% did not voteHow independents voted: 72% D, 21% R, 5% Other, 2% did not vote
Voting BarriersAALDEF also monitored 147 poll sites in 11 states, covering 373 precincts and recorded over 340 complaints from Asian American voters facing barriers or other problems at polling places: -Lack of interpreters and translated voting materials-Names missing in voter lists or other errors in voter names-Requirements to prove U.S. citizenship-Not being given a provisional ballot-Poll workers making hostile remarks to voters or providing incorrect information-Misdirected to wrong poll sites-Voting machine breakdowns and poor ballot design
AALDEF partnered with 65 national and local groups to mobilize 565 volunteer attorneys, law students, college students, and community workers on Election Day.
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