Poll finds Asian-American voters lean toward Clinton
Democrat Hillary Clinton is poised to capture an overwhelming number of Asian American voters in the US presidential race on Nov 8 over Republican Donald Trump, according to a new poll from APIA Vote.
Clinton, the Democratic nominee, is favored by 55 percent of the Asian-American voters in the poll compared to 14 percent for Trump; 8 percent intend to vote for another candidate, and 16 percent were undecided.
Among the Chinese in the 2016 National Asian American Survey, 52 percent said they will vote for Clinton, 11 percent for Trump, 13 percent for others and 15 percent who don’t know. When factoring in those leaning toward a candidate, APIA Vote expects Clinton to capture 59 percent of Asian-American votes compared to 16 percent for Trump and 10 percent for other candidates.
APIA Vote or Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, is a nonpartisan organization that works to mobilize Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to participate in the American electoral system.
James Lai, professor of political science at Santa Clara University in California, said Clinton is ahead in the poll because Asian-American voters are increasingly identifying with the Democratic Party and they have an unfavorable view of Trump’s positions on immigration.
“Asian-American voters are the only racial group to have a percentage increase in their votes for the Democratic presidential candidate during each presidential election cycle from 1992 (31 percent for President Bill Clinton) to the 2012 re-election of President Obama (73 percent),” Lai said in an email. “Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, attack on China’s monetary policies, are viewed unfavorably among Asian Americans who are naturalized citizens and registered voters.”
Clinton has a large advantage over Trump when it comes to younger Asian-American voters. Among the 18-34 age group, Clinton has 61 percent to 8 percent for Trump, and 14 percent for other candidates.
“They have been trending heavily toward the Democratic Party, which is another warning sign for the GOP as it tries to change the image of its party. The Democratic Party has done a more effective job in connecting to young voters, not only Asian Americans, with the issues that they stand for related to the economy/ jobs, diversity and college debt,” said Lai.
Asian-American voters identified the economy/jobs, terrorism/national security, and racism or discrimination as their top issues, while immigration was ranked fairly low.
“My opinion is that many Asian Americans who are immigrants don’t think about immigration policy as it is currently framed around the undocumented once they finally enter the US, which is typically through the traditional visa process,” said Lai. “We know that undocumented immigration also includes Asian Americans (nearly 1.3 million in the US are undocumented), but this is not to the same extent as Latinas/Latinos, particularly Mexican Americans.
“Most of these undocumented Asian immigrants are those whose work visas expire,” Lai said. “As a result, Asian Americans don’t view immigration policies around undocumented immigrants to the same degree as to how this issue is being framed and asked.”
The poll results are from the 2016 National Asian American Survey, a nationally representative survey of 2,238 Asian American and 305 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) adult interviews conducted by telephone from Aug 10 to Sept 29. The APIAVote report focuses on the 1,694 Asian American and 261 NHPI registered voters who took the survey, with an overall margin of error +/- 3.5 percent.
Asian Indian, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Hmong, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese, and native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander registered voters were part of the survey.