Press Release

Asian American voters in New Jersey heavily favored Andy Kim for U.S. Senate

Image for Asian American voters in New Jersey heavily favored Andy Kim for U.S. Senate
AALDEF and AAPI New Jersey conducting the Asian American exit poll in New Jersey. Credit: Jerry Vattamala/AALDEF

Image by AALDEF

AALDEF and AAPI New Jersey poll Asian American voters during the New Jersey primaries

PALISADES PARK, NEW JERSEY — Yesterday, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) partnered with AAPI New Jersey to survey Asian Americans voting in the state’s June 4, 2024 primary election.

Voters were surveyed in English, as well as six Asian languages, including Chinese, Gujarati, Hindi, Korean, Tagalog, and Urdu.

"Yesterday, Asian American voters came out as a bloc to express strong support for Andy Kim for U.S. Senate and other Asian American candidates vying for their party's ticket (both Democratic and Republican) for the upcoming November elections," said Jerry Vattamala, director of AALDEF's Democracy Program. "Asian American voters in New Jersey now make up over a tenth of the state's electorate and an even greater share in the state's largest counties, including Middlesex where 1 in 4 voters are Asian American. According to our exit poll, their top issues of health care, economy/jobs, and education were consistent with past elections. It is clear that candidates will need to be responsive to the Asian American community if they want their votes in the fall."

AALDEF and AAPI NJ volunteers surveyed Asian American voters in the 3 counties with the highest Asian American populations in New Jersey (Middlesex, Bergen, and Hudson). Middlesex and Bergen counties are mandated by Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act to provide translated ballots, voting materials, assistance, and bilingual poll workers for specific language minority groups. Middlesex is required to provide language assistance in the Gujarati language. Bergen is required to provide language assistance in Korean.

Asian American voters surveyed strongly supported Andy Kim for U.S. Senate and provided varying levels of support for ultimately unsuccessful Asian American challengers to incumbent congressmen. Even with the change to an office block ballot, 97.7% of voters who voted in the Democratic primary said it was easy to understand the ballots and vote for their preferred candidates.

"We were heartened to see so many Asian American voters, including first-time primary voters and those with limited English proficiency, showing up for themselves and their communities at the polls yesterday," said Amber Reed, co-executive director of AAPI New Jersey. "Asian Americans have already played a tremendous role in making New Jersey elections fairer and more inclusive, and today's exit poll results will help us better understand Asian American voters and be proactive in addressing barriers to voting and any other factors that dilute our power as New Jersey's fastest-growing racial demographic."

BERGEN, HUDSON, AND MIDDLESEX COUNTIES (combined)

  • Party Affiliation: Of all voters surveyed, 78.3% said they voted in the Democratic Primary
  • Senate Primary: 61.3%of all voters surveyed voted for Andy Kim(D),77.4%of voters who voted in the Democratic Primary voted for Kim
  • Three Most Important Factors Influencing Their Voter: Health Care (41.2%), Economy/Jobs (36.5%), and Education (34.5%)
  • Naturalized Voters: 81.0% of all voters surveyed were naturalized citizens
  • Limited English Proficiency: Of all voters surveyed, 43.5% had limited English proficiency
  • Native Language: 78.4% of all voters surveyed were not native English speakers
  • First Time Voters: 11.7% of voters voted for the first time in a U.S. election
  • First Time Primary Voters: For 22.2% of all surveyed, this was the first primary election they have ever voted in

BERGEN COUNTY

  • House of Representatives Primary: Of all Bergen County voters surveyed, 54.8% voted for Josh Gottheimer (D), 40.5% voted for George Song (R), and 4.8% voted for Mary Jo Guinchard (R)

HUDSON COUNTY

  • House of Representatives Primary: Of all Hudson County voters surveyed, 80.0% voted for Ravinder Bhalla (D), 13.3% voted for Robert Menendez Jr. (D), and 6.7% voted for Anthony Valdes (R)

MIDDLESEX COUNTY

  • House of Representatives Primary: Of all Middlesex County voters surveyed, 51.2% voted for Frank Pallone Jr. (D), 43.9% voted for John Hsu (D), and 4.9% voted for Scott Fegler (R)

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For additional information, contact:

Stuart J. Sia
AALDEF
ssia@aaldef.org

Iris Shih
AAPI New Jersey
iris.shih@aapinewjersey.org