Asian Americans were part of Obama Coalition in big numbers, but with some intra-ethnic differences, AALDEF exit poll shows


Last night you heard media citing exit polls about African Americans backing Barack Obama by 93 percent. Latinos were at 71 percent.

And Asian Americans?

Not a mention.

Yet, the group was a big part of the Obama victory.

72 percent  of Asian Americans backed the president, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund-backed Election Eve poll. The phone survey sampled  800 Asian American voters in 50 states the weekend before the election. With early voting, nearly half of all poll respondents had already voted.

Asian Indians with 83 percent  gave the strongest support  for Obama, based on the survey’s intra-ethnic data. Vietnamese and Filipinos were the least supportive with 59 and 60 percent respectively for Obama. Consequently, those two groups lead the Asian support for Romney.

The national poll put Romney’s Asian American support at  26 percent, with both Vietnamese and Filipinos groups at 40 percent for the Republican challenger.

But when the question comes to political identity,  41 percent of Asian Americans still dentify as Democrats, with the intra-ethnic numbers showing Filipinos and Japanese, at 50  and 51percent, respectively.

Only 14 percent of Asian Americans  overall identify as Republican, with Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese more so at 23 percent.

What makes Asian Americans interesting in the future for politicos is that 45 percent  called themselves Independent (29 percent), Other (3 percent), or “Don’t Know” (13 percent).

Asian Americans are a group with an evolving political identity. As I’ve said, they’re up for grabs. Going forward, no one should take Asian Americans for granted.

And yet, when asked if anyone from “a campaign, political party, or community organization asked you to vote or register to vote, more than half of all respondents nationally (51 percent) said no.  64 percent  of Indians felt most neglected.

It’s clear, we all should be outraged by the lack of outreach.

Someone missed the boat last night. And it wasn’t just Romney with his “All-White” strategy.

That’s why polls like this one from AALDEF are extremely important. It let’s people know when it comes to participatory politics, Asian Americans are quickly filling the void.

 

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