Press Release

AALDEF Exit Poll: Asian Americans in 5 States Approve of Biden, Approve of the Vaccine Mandate, and Support Abortion Access

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Nearly 1 in 5 Asian American voters reported experiencing anti-Asian harassment or violence

MA | MI | NJ | NY | VA

New York, NY — The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released new data from its nonpartisan, multilingual exit poll of 2,726 Asian American voters in the November 2, 2021 Election.

“We were dismayed to see that Asian Americans continue to report high incidence of anti-Asian violence as the pandemic persists. Indeed, anti-Asian violence was one of the top issues Asian American voters cared about, along with the COVID-19 response. It is clear, for Asian Americans, the response to the pandemic is not just a matter of health, but also a matter of safety when it comes to the racism and violence that Asian Americans continue to face as scapegoats for the disease.” said Margaret Fung, executive director of AALDEF.

Top Issues Affecting Asian Americans’ Vote:

  1. Economy/Jobs (25%)
  2. Public Safety (20%)
  3. Anti-Asian Violence (17%)
  4. COVID-19 pandemic/vaccine (14%)

In the past year, were you a victim of anti-Asian harassment or violence?

Yes (17%); No (83%)

“Our polls in five critical states demonstrate that diverse Asian American voters tend to support progressive policy positions on a range of critical issues, including support for abortion access and support for COVID-19 vaccine mandates. As the largest growing racial group in the country, Asian Americans are a significant voting block whose needs and interests cannot be ignored.” said Jerry Vattamala, director of AALDEF’s Democracy Program.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Joe Biden is doing as president?

Approve (55%); Disapprove (26%)

Do you agree or disagree with a vaccine mandate?

Agree (83%); Disagree (12%)

In general, do you support a woman’s right to an abortion, as established by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade?

Support (66%); Oppose (17%)

In Virginia, Asian Americans showed overwhelming support for increasing language access in public agencies and expanding the state’s health insurance program to cover income-eligible undocumented immigrants as well.

Do you support increasing language access in state and local public agencies?

Support (90%); Oppose (3%); Don’t Know (7%)

Do you support expanding Virginia’s health insurance program to cover all income-eligible Virginians, regardless of immigration status?

Support (75%); Oppose (14%); Don’t Know (11%)

Voters were surveyed in English, as well as six other Asian languages (Bengali, Chinese, Khmer, Korean, Nepali, and Vietnamese). A total of 257 AALDEF volunteers, including attorneys and students, surveyed Asian American voters in five states (Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia). Volunteers also monitored for compliance with the language assistance provisions of the Voting Rights Act and to guard against anti-Asian discrimination and intimidation.


For additional information, contact:

Stuart J. Sia
Communications Director
212.966.5932 x203

Susana Lorenzo-Giguere
Senior Staff Attorney, Democracy Program
212.966.5932 x211

Jerry Vattamala
Director, Democracy Program
212.966.5932 x209


Special thanks to the volunteers from the following law firms, bar associations, student associations, schools, and community groups who have contributed their time and expertise to make the 2021 AALDEF Exit Poll Project a success.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP
Barton LLP
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton
Crowell & Moring
Hogan Lovells US LLP
Kirkland & Ellis
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Ropes & Gray
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
Wilson Elser_

American Citizens for Justice – Youth Leadership Initiative – MI
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center (APALRC)
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote) – Michigan
Cambodian Mutual Aid Association – Lowell
Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC)
Chhaya CDC
CUNY Hunter College – Asian American Studies Program
Gay Asian & Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY)
MinKwon Center for Community Action
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) – NY
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) – VA
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)__

Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA) – DC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) – NJ
South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)_

Boston University
Boston University Law School
City College of NY – Asian Student Organization
Columbia Law School – Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
Harvard Law School – Asian Pacific American Law Students Association
Harvard Kennedy School
Hunter College New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
Northeastern Student Government Association
NYU Law School – Asian Pacific American Law Students Association_