The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released detailed findings from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 369 Asian American voters in New Orleans, Louisiana in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation. The results indicated that Asian Americans backed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and a large percentage was undecided about immigration reform.
81% of Asian Americans polled in New Orleans, Louisiana voted for Mitt Romney for President, compared to 21% of those polled nationally. Of those surveyed, 51% were enrolled in the Republican Party, while only 7% were enrolled in the Democratic Party; 39% indicated that they were not enrolled in any party.
The major factors influencing the Asian American vote in Louisiana were economy/jobs (56%), health care (33%), education (28%), terrorism/security (18%), civil rights/immigrants rights (14%), and women’s issues (12%).
“The New Orleans exit poll results show the diversity within the Asian American community and the wide range of political leanings,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, Director of the Democracy Program at AALDEF.
The exit poll results are part of AALDEF’s 14-state multilingual exit poll of 9,096 Asian American voters in jurisdictions with large Asian American populations. In Orleans Parish, Vietnamese Americans were 98% of the Asian Americans surveyed. More than 1 in 4 (29%) were first-time voters.
Glenn Magpantay presented the results of the 2012 multilingual exit poll at the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA) Community Center. View the presentation >
Key findings include:
- The majority of Asian Americans in Louisiana voted for presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
8 out of 10 (81%) Vietnamese Americans surveyed voted for Romney. Nationally, 21% of Asian Americans voted for Romney. Support for Romney in Louisiana was consistent across almost all categories, including first-time (75%), foreign-born (88%), limited English proficient (90%), and English proficient (62%) voters, and voters of most age groups.
Among native-born Asian American voters in Louisiana, 40% voted for Romney and 49% voted for Obama. Voters between ages 18 to 29 were more evenly split between the vote for President, with 42% for Romney and 44% for Obama.
Of the 39% not enrolled in any political party, 71% voted for Romney, while 25% voted for President Obama.
- Asian Americans in Louisiana are split regarding immigration reform.
One-third (34%) of Asian Americans supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, while another third (36%) opposed immigration reform. 30% responded that they were unsure.
57% of those who voted for President Obama and 31% of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform. 12% of those who voted for Obama and 39% of those who voted for Romney said that they opposed immigration reform. However, almost one-third from both groups (31% of Obama supporters and 30% of Romney supporters) said that they were unsure.
38% of Democrats, 31% of Republicans, and 35% not enrolled in any political party supported immigration reform.
49% of those who voted for Democrat Cedric Richmond for U.S. House of Representative supported immigration reform, 22% opposed, and 29% did not know.
- The majority of Asian Americans in Louisiana supported the Republican candidate for House of Representatives.
71% of Asian Americans surveyed voted Republican Dwayne Bailey for U.S. House of Representatives, while 25% voted for Democrat Cedric Richmond.
- Voting barriers persisted.
Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems:
- 24 voters indicated that no interpreters or translations were available when needed.
- 11 voters were wrongly required to prove their U.S. citizenship.
- 9 voters indicated that their names were missing or had errors at poll sites
- 9 voters were directed to the wrong poll site or voting machine/table within a site.
- 3 voters had to vote by provisional ballet.
- 1 voter indicated that poll workers did not know what to do.
- 1 voter indicated that poll workers were rude or hostile.
About the Asian American Exit Poll: AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. In 2012, more than 100 community groups and organizations joined AALDEF to mobilize over 800 attorneys, law students, and volunteers to conduct the exit poll and to safeguard the voting rights of Asian Americans.
About AALDEF: The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.
About VAYLA: The Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA) is a youth-led community-based organization that empowers Vietnamese American and underrepresented youth through supportive services and organizing for cultural enrichment and positive social change. Committed to youth development, community empowerment, higher education, and cultural awareness, VAYLA is composed of young leaders, high school and college students that want to engage and empower others educationally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
Contact: Ujala Sehgal 212.966.5932 x217 firstname.lastname@example.org
2012 AALDEF ASIAN AMERICAN EXIT POLL – Co-Sponsoring Organizations and Law Firms
Alliance of South Asian American Labor
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Nat’l Coalition of Asian Pac. Amer. Comm. Dev.
Nat’l Korean Amer. Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
North American South Asian Bar Association
OCA (formerly Organization of Chinese Americans)
South Asian Americans Leading Together
ACCESS – MI
APALA – Nevada
APIA Vote – Michigan
Asian American Society of Central Virginia
Boat People SOS Delaware Valley – PA
CAAAV – NY Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Center for Pan Asian Community Services – GA
Chhaya CDC – NY
Chinese-American Planning Council – NY
Chinese Community Federation of Atlanta
Chinese Progressive Association – MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian Am. Studies Prog – NY
Korean American Civic Empowerment of NY/NJ
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center – IL
MinKwon Center for Community Action – NY
NAAAP – New York
NAAAP – Philadelphia
NANAY – FL
NAPAWF – DC
NAPAWF – New York City
OCA: Greater Houston
OCA: Greater Philadelphia
OCA: Greater Washington DC
OCA: Northern Virginia
OCA: South Florida
Pace University, ACE House – NY
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Princeton Asian American Students Association – NJ
Q-WAVE – NY
South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association of New York
U. California San Diego, Lambda Phi Epsilon
U. Maryland, College Park, Asian Amer. Studies Prog.
U. Massachusetts Boston, Asian Amer. Studies Prog.
Viet. Amer. Young Leaders Assoc. of New Orleans
Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Assoc. of Massachusetts
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas – NV
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Wash., DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of South Florida
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of NJ
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center – DC
Boston University School of Law, APALSA – MA
Brooklyn Law School, APALSA – NY
Columbia Law School, APALSA – NY
Filipino Amer. Legal Defense & Educ. Fund, Inc. – NY
Georgetown Law, APALSA – DC
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Harvard Law School, APALSA – MA
Korean Amer. Bar Assoc. of the Washington DC Area
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Muslim American Bar Association of New York
New England School of Law, APALSA – MA
Pace Law School, Public Interest Law Center – NY
Rutgers School of Law-Newark, APALSA – NJ
South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC
Suffolk U. Law Rappaport Ctr. Law and Public Serv.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, APALSA
U. Penn. Law, Public Interest Office and APALSA
Law Firm Co-Sponsors
Alston & Bird LLP
Ballard Spahr LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Fowler White Boggs
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
K&L Gates LLP
Kaye Scholer LLP
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
McCarter & English LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP White & Case LLP