Press Release

Exit Poll Shows Whopping 88% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas Support Immigration Reform


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April 25, 2013 — Today, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released detailed findings from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 336 Asian American voters in Las Vegas, Nevada in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation. The results indicated that Asian Americans backed President Obama and Democratic candidates by a wide margin, and a staggering 88% supported comprehensive immigration reform.

81% of Asian Americans polled in Las Vegas, Nevada voted for President Obama, compared to 77% of those polled nationally. Of those surveyed, 72% were enrolled in the Democratic Party, while only 17% were enrolled in the Republican Party. 10% indicated that they were not enrolled in any party.

“The Asian American growth rate in Nevada is the highest in the nation, at 116%,” said Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF Democracy Program Director. “Asian Americans make up close to 10% of the population in Clark County. This is a rapidly gowing population with high Democratic party enrollment, and policymakers should be advised of the issues that are driving these voters to the polls.”

The major factors influencing the Asian American vote in Las Vegas were economy/jobs (63%), health care (40%), education (32%), and civil rights/immigrants rights (25%). 88% supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.

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 Las Vegas, the largest Asian ethnic group polled was Filipino Americans at 67%. This was followed by Chinese (6%), Asian Indian (2%), and Korean (2%) Americans.

Glenn Magpantay presented the results of the 2012 multilingual exit poll in a telebriefing on April 25. View the presentation >

Key findings include the following:

  • Asian Americans are a growing portion of the Nevada electorate.

In the 2012 election, more than 1 in 4 (26%) of Asian Americans surveyed in Las Vegas, NV were first-time voters.

  • The majority of Asian Americans in Nevada voted for President Obama.

81% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas, NV voted for President Obama.

Support for Obama was consistent across all categories, including first-time (90%), foreign- (80%) and native-born (81%), limited English proficient (69%) and English proficient (82%) voters, and voters of all age groups.

Of the 10% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas, NV who were not enrolled in any political party, 84% voted for President Obama, while 10% voted for Romney.

  • The majority of Asian Americans in Nevada supported the Democratic candidate for Congress.

79% of Asian Americans voted Democrat Shelley Berkley for U.S. Senator, while 17% voted for Republican Dean Heller. Likewise, 81% of Asian Americans voted for Democrat Dina Titus for the U.S. House of Representatives, compared to 17% for Republican Chris Edwards.

  • A majority of Asian Americans favored comprehensive immigration reform.

88% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas, NV supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. 86% of Filipino American voters favored immigration reform.

This support was high across candidates and political parties. 92% of those who voted for President Obama and 71% of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform. 92% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans, and 84% not enrolled in any political party supported immigration reform. In the race for U.S. Senate, 68% of those who voted for Republican Dean Heller supported immigration reform. In the race for U.S. House of Representatives, 93% of those who voted for Democrat Dina Titus supported immigration reform.

  • Voting barriers persisted.

Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems:

39 voters were wrongly required to show ID.

4 voters were required to prove their U.S. citizenship.

8 voters indicated that their names were missing at poll sites or had errors.

1 voter indicated that no interpreters or translations were available when needed.

1 voter was directed to the wrong voting location.

About the Exit Poll:

AALDEF’s multilingual exit polls reveal vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. 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. A list of co-sponsoring organizations and law firms follows below.


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.


Ujala Sehgal

212.966.5932 x.217

2012 AALDEF ASIAN AMERICAN EXIT POLL – Co-Sponsoring Organizations and Law Firms

National Co-Sponsors

Alliance of South Asian American Labor

Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance


Common Cause

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

Local Co-Sponsors


APALA – Nevada

APIA Vote – Michigan

Asian American Society of Central Virginia

Boat People SOS Delaware Valley – PA


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



NAPAWF – New York City

OCA: Georgia

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


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

Legal Co-Sponsors

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

Hogan Lovells

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