Press Release

Asian American Voters Favor Clinton and McCain in New York and New Jersey Presidential Primaries


New York… Asian American voters in New York and New Jersey, two states with the largest Asian American populations in the Northeast, gave overwhelming support to Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in the “Super Tuesday” presidential primary elections.

The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)today released preliminary findings from its multilingual, nonpartisan exit poll of 700 Asian American voters at 9 polling places in New York City and 6 polling places in Palisades Park, Fort Lee and Edison, New Jersey.

AALDEF Executive Director Margaret Fung said: “Asian American voters have demonstrated strong interest in the Presidential elections, and they made their voices heard on Super Tuesday.”

A summary of the preliminary results appears below:


Over 530 Asian American voters were polled in New York City: Manhattan’s Chinatown; Flushing, Elmhurst, and Bayside, Queens; and Sunset Park and Midwood, Brooklyn. 61% were Chinese Americans, 21% Korean Americans, and 12% South Asian Americans.

– Among Asian American voters polled, 95% were Democrats and 5% were Republicans.

– Asian American female and male voters polled were split 50%-50%.

– 30% of Asian Americans polled were 70 years and over, followed by voters aged 60-69 (19%), ages 50 to 59 (16%), ages 40 to 49 (13%), and 11% each for voters aged 30 to 39 and aged 18 to 29.

Democratic Primary

– 86% of Asian American Democrats–women and men of all age groups–supported Clinton, with Obama receiving 14% of the Asian American vote.

– Among Asian ethnic groups, the greatest support for Clinton came from Chinese American voters (90%); followed by Korean Americans (81%) and South Asian Americans (70%).

– 91% of Asian American women voted for Clinton and 9% voted for Obama; Asian American men also favored Clinton (80%) over Obama (20%).

– Asian Americans in all age groups (18-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70 and over) preferred Clinton. Obama did best among younger Asian Americans, receiving 29% of voters aged 19-29, as compared to 9% of Asian American voters 70 and over.

Republican Primary

– 68% of Asian American Republicans voted for Sen. John McCain, followed by 12% for Mike Huckabee. Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney each received 8% of the Asian American vote.

– Asian American women and men in all age groups favored McCain over the other candidates.


Almost 170 Asian American voters were surveyed in New Jersey. 75% were Korean American, 15% South Asian American, 9% Chinese American, and 1% Other Asian American. Voters were surveyed at 6 poll sites in Palisades Park, Fort Lee, and Edison.

Democratic Primary

– Clinton won 73% of the Asian American vote, with 22% supporting Obama.

– Korean American voters, the largest Asian ethnic group polled in New Jersey, favored Clinton by 80%, with 16% for Obama.

Republican Primary

– McCain won 56% of Asian American Republicans polled, followed by Giuliani (20%), Romney (16%) and Huckabee (4%).

AALDEF coordinated the 2008 exit poll of Asian American voters with the assistance of co-sponsors Korean American Voters’ Council of NY/NJ and YKASEC: Empowering the Korean American Community.

The exit poll questionnaire was available in English, Chinese, and Korean. More than 100 attorneys, law students, and community volunteers conducted the poll and spoke seven Asian languages or dialects, including Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi, Urdu, and Gujarati.

AALDEF’s multilingual exit polls reveal vital information about Asian American voting patterns regularly overlooked in mainstream voter surveys and provide a snapshot of Asian American voter preferences on candidates, political parties, and policy issues of concern to Asian Americans.

In the 2004 Presidential election, AALDEF polled almost 11,000 Asian American voters in 23 cities in eight states. AALDEF’s exit poll reports from the 2006 midterm elections and 2004 presidential elections are available online here.

For more information:
Margaret Fung
Executive Director
212.966.5932 ext. 201

Glenn D. Magpantay
Staff Attorney
212.966.5932 ext. 206