New York, NY - According to preliminary results of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund’s (AALDEF) multilingual exit poll on Jan. 5, 2021, Asian American voters in Georgia favored Democratic candidates Raphael Warnock (64%) and Jon Ossoff (68%) over their Republican challengers Kelly Loeffler (33%) and David Perdue (31%) in the 2021 Senate runoff elections.
AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung said: “Asian American voters played a critical role in electing Warnock and Ossoff in two extremely close races that will result in Democratic control of the U.S. Senate. Asian American voters must no longer be ignored in the political process."
AALDEF has conducted its Asian American Exit Poll and monitored polling places in every major election since 1988. This year, AALDEF’s Exit Poll and Poll Monitoring program faced many challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, mail-in voting, and early voting–all of which created challenges for interacting with voters in real time on Election Day, as has been done in past elections. In the Georgia runoff elections, AALDEF volunteers polled more than 270 Asian Americans in Gwinnett, DeKalb, and Fulton counties.
Jerry Vattamala, AALDEF Democracy Program Director, said, “One issue we observed in the runoff elections was that hundreds of voters of color, including Asian American voters, were turned away and told they were at incorrect poll sites. This was particularly egregious where the site to which they were directed was closed. We will continue to work with election officials to investigate these serious voting problems.”
Of all Georgia voters surveyed:
• 29% were Korean, 23% were Asian Indian, 14% were Vietnamese, 13% were Chinese, 8% were Bangladeshi, 4% were Pakistani, and 8% were an Other Asian Ethnicity.
• 23% were native-born U.S. citizens and 77% were foreign-born naturalized citizens.
• 22% were first-time voters and 78% had voted in previous elections.
• 44% were registered Democrats, 24% were registered Republicans, 28% were not enrolled in a party, and 4% were enrolled in another party.
• 33% of all voters were limited English proficient (LEP) and 67% were English proficient.
• 53% were Female and 47% were Male.
Increased Support for Democratic Senate Candidates in Runoff Elections
Asian American support for Warnock and Ossoff appears to have increased from the support that both they and Joe Biden received in the November 2020 Presidential Election. In AALDEF’s Exit Poll in Georgia in November 2020:
• Asian Americans decisively chose Joe Biden over Donald Trump by a margin of 62% to 36%.
• In the U.S. Senate races with identical candidates in November, Asian Americans voted for the Democratic candidates over the Republicans by a margin of 61% to 34%.
• All Asian ethnic groups in the state supported Biden over Trump except for Korean American voters (60% for Trump and 39% for Biden).
• Among voters not enrolled in any party, the breakout was 63% for Biden and 30% for Trump, and among voters affiliated with other parties, 60% for Biden and 20% for Trump.
• First-time voters supported Biden by a wide margin of 61% to 36%.
AALDEF will release a more detailed analysis of its exit poll numbers soon, with specific data related to ethnicity, gender, age, language ability, and nativity, among other data points. Special thanks to all of our volunteers and community partners, particularly the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS) in Atlanta, for their many years of service to the Asian American community.
For more information, contact:
Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director
212.966.5932 ext. 209
Margaret Fung, Executive Director
212.966.5932 ext. 201