Press Release

New results - AALDEF 2018 exit poll of 8,058 Asian American voters

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New York…According to updated results of the November 6, 2018 exit poll by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Asian American voters in 14 states strongly favored Democratic candidates in races for Governor (75%), Senate (81%) and House of Representatives (79%) in the November midterm elections.

AALDEF’s multilingual exit poll of 8,058 Asian American voters was conducted in English and 11 Asian languages in collaboration with 88 national and local community groups–the largest survey of its kind in the nation.

Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, said: “The AALDEF multilingual exit poll provides detailed information about Asian American voters that is often overlooked by mainstream polls. Their strong support for Democratic candidates in 2018 reflected their opposition to Trump’s performance as president and his anti-immigrant policies.”

The 2018 Asian American Exit Poll provides a unique snapshot of the voting patterns of Asian Americans in 14 states with large or fast-growing Asian American populations: New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, New Mexico, Nevada, California, and Washington, DC. It was conducted at 80 poll sites in 50 cities in 12 languages: Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Khmer, Arabic, Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Urdu, Gujarati, and English.

AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. In the 2014 midterm elections, AALDEF polled 4,102 Asian American voters in 11 states.

Selected 2018 exit poll highlights:

· Among the 8,058 Asian American voters polled, the largest Asian ethnic groups were Chinese (32%), South Asian (32%), Vietnamese (9%), Korean (9%), and Filipino (7%).

· 15% of Asian Americans were first-time voters, an increase from 10% in the 2014 midterm elections.

· 72% of Asian American voters were foreign-born naturalized citizens (84% in 2014).

· 28% of Asian American voters were limited English proficient (“LEP”) (45% in 2014).

· 61% of Asian Americans were registered Democrats (57% in 2014), 23% were not enrolled in a political party (26% in 2014), and 12% were registered Republicans (14% in 2014).

In the selected state races below, Asian American voters, including those not enrolled in a political party, generally supported Democratic candidates:

78% for Stacey Abrams, 19% for Brian Kemp, 3% other
(Kemp won 50.2%, Abrams 48.8%, other 0.9%)

FLORIDA – Governor and Senate
77% for Andrew Gillum, 22% for Ron DeSantis, 1% other
(DeSantis won 49.6%, Gillum 49.2%, other 1.3%)
76% for Bill Nelson, 22% for Rick Scott, 1% other
(Scott won 50.1%, Nelson 49.9%)

NEVADA - Senate
66% for Jackie Rosen, 30% for Dean Heller, 3% other
(Rosen won 50.4%, Heller 45.4%, other 4.2%)

TEXAS – Senate and Governor
64% for Beto O’Rourke, 33% for Ted Cruz, 2% other
(Cruz won 50.9% of total votes, O’Rourke 48.3%, other 0.8%)
57% for Lupe Valdez, 39% for Greg Abbott, 2% other
(Abbott won 55.8% of total votes, Valdez 42.5%, other 1.7%)

MICHIGAN - Governor
91% for Gretchen Whitmer, 7% for Bill Schuette, 1% other
(Whitmer won 53.3%, Schuette 43.7%, other 2.9%)

Ballot propositions in Florida and Massachusetts
In Florida, 69% of Asian Americans polled supported Amendment 4, which re-enfranchised 1.4 million ex-felons, compared to 24% who opposed this amendment. Amendment 4 passed 64.5% to 35.5%.

In Massachusetts, 74% of Asian Americans polled supported Question 3 and 13% opposed Question 3, which upheld a state law protecting transgender people in public accommodations. Question 3 passed 67.8% to 32.2%.

Presidential Job Approval Ratings
Two out of three Asian American voters (65%) disapproved of Donald Trump’s performance as President. However, there were significant differences among Asian American voters:

Native-Born vs. Foreign-Born:
26% of foreign-born, naturalized citizen voters approved of Trump, with only 7% of native-born voters approving. An overwhelming 87% of native-born voters disapproved of Trump, with 57% of foreign-born voters disapproving.

English Proficiency:
Limited English proficient (LEP) voters approved of Trump at 37%, compared to only 15% of English proficient voters. Likewise, 75% of English proficient voters disapproved of Trump, compared to 40% of LEP voters.

Highest level of education completed in the U.S.:
52% of voters who completed only an elementary school education approved of Trump, compared to 17% of voters who had completed college. Of voters who completed graduate school, 75% disapproved of Trump, compared to 27% of voters who completed an elementary school education – almost a 50% disparity.

42% of voters aged 70 and older approved of Trump, while only 6% of voters aged 18-29 approved of Trump. Of voters aged 18-29, 85% disapproved of Trump, compared to 43% of voters aged 70 and older who disapproved.

18% of Asian American female voters approved of Trump, compared to 24% of Asian American male voters that approved. Male voters disapproved of Trump at 63%, compared to 68% of female voters who disapproved.

Main source of news
In GA, LA, NJ and VA, AALDEF asked Asian American voters about their main source of news and politics.

Ethnic Media 10.4%

Facebook/Twitter 18.6%

Newspaper 18.6%

Radio 9.6%

TV-ABC, NBC, CBS 14.8%

TV-CNN 18.0%

TV-Fox News 6.5%


WeChat 0.8%

Asian Americans overwhelmingly voted for Democratic candidates in races for Governor (75%), Senate (81%) and House of Representatives (79%). There were segments of the electorate that favored Republican candidates, such as for House of Representatives in Louisiana, and there was at least 35% support for Republican candidates for Governor in Maryland, Texas, Massachusetts, and New Mexico. The breakdowns for these races are listed below:

House of Representatives
CA 63.6% [D] 29.8% [R]

DC 92.0% [D] 0.7% [R]

FL 74.6% [D] 23.1% [R]

GA 76.2% [D] 19.0% [R]

LA 16.3% [D] 71.2% [R]

MA 79.1% [D] 14.9% [R]

MD 78.6% [D] 17.9% [R]

MI 92.5% [D] 5.1% [R]

NJ 79.0% [D] 15.9% [R]

NM 62.7% [D] 34.3% [R]

NV 66.4% [D] 28.3% [R]

NY 85.1% [D] 11.0% [R]

PA 82.7% [D] 13.5% [R]

TX 62.4% [D] 33.5% [R]

VA 79.1% [D] 19.3% [R]

Total 79.1% [D] 16.7% [R}

Governor Races (No Races in LA, NJ or VA; DC Election was for Mayor)
CA 69.1% [D] 28.5% [R]

DC 59.5% [D} 3.6% [R]

FL 76.6% [D] 21.9% [R]

GA 77.6% [D] 18.9% [R]

MA 60.4% [D] 37.7% [R]

MD 56.2% [D] 40.5% [R]

MI 91.2% [D] 7.1% [R]

NM 61.5% [D] 34.6% [R]

NV 67.8% [D] 26.3% [R]

NY 81.3% [D] 13.3% [R]

PA 85.9% [D] 12.7% [R]

TX 56.5% [D] 38.7% [R]

Total 75.3% [D] 20.1% [R]

Senate Races (No Races in DC, GA and LA)
CA 72.2% [D] 18.3% [R]

FL 76.3% [D] 22.2% [R]

MA 81.3% [D] 16.8% [R]

MD 77.3% [D] 21.0% [R]

MI 90.9% [D] 6.9% [R]

NJ 77.3% [D} 19.3% [R]

NM 66.7% [D] 30.4% [R]

NV 66.4% [D] 30.2% [R]

NY 84.4% [D] 12.7% [R]

PA 82.0% [D] 15.2% [R]

TX 64.0% [D] 32.9% [R]

VA 79.6% [D] 18.8% [R]

Total 80.6% [D] 16.5% [R]

AALDEF also monitored 46 poll sites in 3 states, and recorded over 100 complaints from Asian American voters facing barriers or other problems at polling places:

· Lack of interpreters and translated voting materials

· Names missing in voter lists or other errors in voter names

· Requirements to prove U.S. citizenship

· Not being given a provisional ballot

· Poll workers making hostile remarks to voters or providing incorrect information

· Misdirected to wrong poll sites

· Voting machine breakdowns and poor ballot design


For more information, contact:
Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director
212.966.5932 x209

Margaret Fung, Executive Director
212.966.5932 x201

Exit Poll Co-Sponsors

18 Million Rising
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCRUL)
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC VA)
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship and Training (SAFEST)

Apex for Youth
APIAVote-Michigan (APIAVote-MI)
Asian Americans United (AAU)
Asian Community Development Council (ACDC)
Asian Employee Network at American Express (ANA – New York)
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA Austin)
Association of Chinese Americans, OCA Detroit (ACA)
Boat People SOS Houston
Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS)
Charles B. Wang Community Health Center (CBWCHC)
Chinatown YMCA
Chinese Progressive Association (CPA Boston)
Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC)
Dallas Fort Worth Asian American Citizens Council (DFW-AACC)
Federation of Indian Associations (FIA)
Florida Asian Services Center (FASC)
Flushing YMCA
GAPIMNY—Empowering Queer & Trans Asian Pacific Islanders
Greater Boston Legal Services
MinKwon Center for Community Action
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum NYC Chapter (NAPAWF-NYC)
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) - Nevada
New Mexico Asian Family Center (NMAFC)
New Virginia Majority (NVM)
Nodutdol for Korean Community Development
OCA Greater Houston Chapter
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC)
Pilipino American Unity for Progress NY (UniPro NY)
Pilipino American Unity for Progress San Diego (UniPro San Diego)
Southeast Asian Mutual Assistance Associations Coalition, Inc. (SEAMAAC)
United Chinese Association of Brooklyn (UCA)
Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association of New Orleans (VAYLA)

Law Firms
Alston & Bird LLP
Blank Rome
Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP
Fish & Richardson PC
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
McCarter & English LLP
Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Weil Gotshal LLP

Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)
Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Bay Area (AABA)
Asian American Lawyers Association of Massachusetts (AALAM)
Asian Law Alliance (ALA)
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of NJ (APALA-NJ)
Asian Pacific Bar Association of Pennsylvania (APABA-PA)
Austin Asian American Bar Association (AAABA)
Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association (LAPABA)
Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)
South Asian Bar Association of Greater Boston (SABAGB)
South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)

Brandeis Southeast Asia Club (SEAC)
Cardozo APALSA
Columbia APALSA
Columbia Asian American Alliance
Columbia School of Social Work Asian Pacific Islander Student Caucus (CSSW API Caucus)
George Mason APALSA
Georgetown APALSA
Harvard APALSA
Harvard Kennedy School Asian Pacific American Caucus
Michigan Law APALSA
Pace University American Studies Program
Princeton Asian American Students Association (AASA)
Rutgers Law School Newark-Pro Bono and Public Interest Office
Rutgers Law School-Camden APALSA
Rutgers Law School-Newark APALSA
St. John’s APALSA
Suffolk University Law School, APALSA
UPenn Asian Pacific Student Coalition (APSC)
UT Austin Center for Asian American Studies