New: Nearly 60% Texas Asian Americans Surveyed Support Obama & Immigration Reform
Last night, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released detailed findings from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 613 Asian American voters in Texas in the November 2012 Presidential elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation.
“Our exit poll results revealed that within the growing Asian American electorate in Texas, support for comprehensive immigration reform and votes for Obama were consistently high across all categories, including across party lines,” said Glenn Magpantay, Director of AALDEF’s Democracy Program.
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. The exit poll in Texas included Sugarland and Houston, two cities with the largest Asian American populations, including Vietnamese (31%), Asian Indian (25%), Chinese (18%), Pakistani (11%), and Filipino (9%) American.
57% of Asian Americans polled in Texas voted for President Obama, compared to 77% of those polled nationally. 40% of those polled voted for Mitt Romney. Of Asian Americans surveyed, 37% were enrolled in the Democratic party, while only 26% were enrolled in the Republican party; 34% indicated that they were not enrolled in any party.
The major factors influencing the Asian American vote in Texas were economy/jobs (60%), health care (37%), education (35%), and civil rights/immigrants rights (20%). The majority of Asian Americans (59%) in Texas supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.
Asian Americans are a growing portion of the Texas electorate.
In the 2012 election, more than 1 in 4 (28%) of Asian Americans surveyed in Texas were first-time voters.
The majority of Asian Americans in Texas voted for President Obama.
57% of Asian Americans in Texas voted for Obama. The highest support came from South Asian voters, specifically, 84% of Pakistani and 74% of Asian Indian Americans.
There was strong support for President Obama across almost all categories, including first-time (65%), foreign- (59%) and native-born (53%), English proficient (60%) voters, and voters of almost all age groups. Half (50%) of Asian Americans who were limited English proficient voted for Obama, while the other half (50%) voted for Romney.
Of the 34% of Asian Americans in Texas who were not enrolled in any political party, 60% voted for Obama, while 36% voted for Romney.
Asian Americans in Texas voted for the Democratic rather than the Republican candidate for Congress at higher rates.
51% voted for Democratic candidate Paul Sadler, while only 39% voted for Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
In the race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Al Green received 49% of the Asian American vote. His opponent, Republican Steve Mueller, received 44%. In addition, 62% of Asian Americans voted for Democratic candidate Kesha Rogers, while only 34% voted for Republican U.S. Representative Pete Olson.
A majority of Asian Americans favored comprehensive immigration reform.
59% of Asian Americans in Texas supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, with the highest support from 71% of Pakistani and 66% of Asian Indian American voters.
67% of those who voted for Obama supported immigration reform, and almost half (48%) of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform.
67% of those enrolled in the Democratic party, 50% of those enrolled in the Republican party, and 52% not enrolled in any political party supported immigration reform.
In the race for U.S. Senate, half (50%) of those who voted for Republican Senator Ted Cruz supported immigration reform. In the race for U.S. House of Representatives, 67% of those who voted for Democrat Al Green and 56% of those who voted for Republican Pete Olson supported immigration reform.
Asian Americans in Texas have higher levels of limited English proficiency.
32% of Asian Americans in Texas spoke English less than “very well” compared to 37% of all Asian Americans nationally. Some ethnic groups had higher rates of limited English proficiency, such as 54% of Vietnamese Americans, followed by 33% of Chinese Americans.
Voting barriers persisted.
Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems. Below are the numbers of complaints:
22 were wrongly required to prove their U.S. citizenship.
13 reported that their names were missing or had errors in the list of voters at poll sites.
10 voters had to vote by provisional ballot.
15 voters reported that poll workers did not know what to do.
9 voters reported that poll workers were rude or hostile.
15 voters reported that no interpreters or translations were available when they needed the help.
9 voters were directed to the wrong poll site or voting machine/table within a site.
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.
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
Alliance of South Asian American Labor Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance APIAVote 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 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: 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 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