Press Release

AALDEF exit poll of 7,600 Asian American voters in 2018 midterm elections: preliminary results

 
 
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New York City… AALDEF’s preliminary exit poll results of more than 7,600 Asian American voters in the 2018 midterm elections reveal that Asian Americans strongly favored Democratic Senate and Gubernatorial candidates in closely-contested races in Texas, Georgia, Nevada, and Florida.

Asian American voters polled also disapproved of Donald Trump’s performance as president, with 65% disapproving and 21% approving, a factor that likely affected their votes in key elections.

“The racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric from Donald Trump has been deeply disturbing to Asian American voters, who overwhelmingly supported candidates who share their values of a more inclusive and diverse America,” said Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director.

AALDEF dispatched more than 600 attorneys, law students, and community volunteers to 50 cities in 14 states to document voter problems on Election Day and to conduct a nonpartisan Asian American exit poll in English and 11 Asian languages Asian Americans were polled in California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

AALDEF Democracy Program Director Jerry Vattamala said: “The Asian American Exit Poll provides critical information about the Asian American electorate, including their party affiliations, issues influencing their votes in key races, and voting barriers at the polls, including improper requirements to show voter IDs or prove their citizenship and the denial of language assistance to limited English proficient voters.”

Democrats picked up 27 seats on Tuesday, winning majority control of the House of Representatives, and Republicans kept the Senate majority, picking up two seats. Democratic governors also won in 23 states, picking up seven new seats.

The following is a preliminary breakdown by state:

Vote for Senate:
Texas
64% for Beto O’Rourke, 33% for Ted Cruz, 2% other
(Cruz won 50.9% of total votes, O’Rourke 48.3%, other 0.8%)

Nevada
68% for Jackie Rosen, 28% for Dean Heller, 3% other
(Rosen won 50.4%, Heller 45.4%, other 4.2%)

Florida
71% for Bill Nelson, 21% for Rick Scott, 1% other
(Scott won 50.2%, Nelson 49.8%, other 0%, 99% reporting)

Vote for Governor:
Florida
71% for Andrew Gillum, 22% for Ron DeSantis, 1% other
(DeSantis won 49.7%, Gillum 49.1%, other 1.2%)

Georgia
82% for Stacey Abrams, 15% for Brian Kemp, 3% other
(Kemp won 50.3%, Abrams 48.7%, other 0.9%, potential runoff)

Michigan
91% for Gretchen Whitmer, 7% for Bill Schuette, 1% other
(Whitmer won 53.1%, Schuette 44.0%, other 2.8%)

Ballot Propositions
Asian Americans overwhelmingly supported two ballot propositions in Florida and Massachusetts.

In Florida, 68% of Asian Americans polled supported Amendment 4, which re-enfranchised 1.4 million ex-felons, compared to 26% who opposed this amendment. Amendment 4 passed 64.5% to 35.5%.

In Massachusetts, 74% of Asian Americans polled supported Question 3 and 13% opposed Question 3, which upheld a state law protecting transgender people in public accommodations. Question 3 passed 68% to 32%.

Asian American voters also faced many barriers on Election Day – including machine breakdowns, being directed to incorrect poll sites, denied provisional ballots and access to language assistance, and illegal demands for proof of identification and citizenship when it was not required.

Poll sites in AALDEF’s exit poll were selected based on voter registration files, census data, interviews with local election officials and community leaders, and a history of voting problems. Approximately 600 attorneys, law students, and community volunteers were stationed at poll sites throughout the day, generally between 7:00 am to 8:00 pm. Surveys were written in English and 11 Asian languages, and volunteers were conversant in Asian languages and dialects. Additional exit poll results regarding Asian ethnic groups, most important issues influencing their votes, and preferences for House candidates will be released soon.

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For more information, contact:
Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director
212.966.5932 x209
jvattamala@aaldef.org

Margaret Fung, Executive Director
212.966.5932 x201
mfung@aaldef.org