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Staying the Course: Poll Finds Indian Americans Most Likely to Favor the Democrats in Midterm Elections

Staying the Course: Poll Finds Indian Americans Most Likely to Favor the Democrats in Midterm Elections

  • Conducted by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), AAPI Data and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the ‘2022 Asian American Voter Survey' aims to highlight the AAPI community’s voting choice, policy priorities and views.

Nearly 70 percent of Indian American voters have the deepest loyalty to the Democratic Party and are more likely to favor those candidates in the November elections, a new survey has revealed.

Conducted by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), AAPI Data and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the ‘2022 Asian American Voter Survey’ aims to highlight the AAPI community’s voting choice, policy priorities and views.

One of the key findings of the survey was the enthusiasm and willingness among the Asian American community to vote (84 percent.) However, less than half have been contacted by either of the major parties, said the survey released on July 25. Fifty-two percent of Asian Americans said they had not been contacted at all by the Democratic Party in the past year, and 60 percent of Asian Americans said they had not been contacted at all by the Republican Party in the past year. The survey notes that both parties have a lot of ground to gain with this voting bloc, which is growing in political clout.

The AAPI community has seen a record increase in voter turnout in the 2018and 2022 election cycles.” In 2020, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders saw the highest increase in presidential turnout among any racial group, and Asian Americans had the highest midterm turnout gain in 2018, a 14-point increase,” the survey says. “In 2020, almost 60 percent (7.6 million) of the Asian American citizen age voting population turned out. In battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the number of Asian Americans who cast their ballot in 2020 exceeded the presidential margin of victory.”

In the past two decades, Asian Americans have also become one of the fastest growing racial or ethnic groups in the U.S., the survey notes. “Between 2010 and 2020, the Asian population in the United States grew by 39 percent, and their population is projected to pass 35 million by 2060. Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders were the third-fastest growing group, growing by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020. Their population is projected to pass 2 million by 2030. With the midterms looming, the community is once again in focus. 

In battleground states such as Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, the number of Asian Americans who cast their ballot in 2020 exceeded the presidential margin of victory.

When it comes to party affiliation, the survey found that a majority of registered Asian American voters, 56 percent, identified as Democrat, while roughly a quarter (26 percent) identified as Republican. A further 17 percent identified as independents. When further broken down by national heritage, Indian American voters (70 percent) leaned Democratic, with Japanese Americans not far behind at 65 percent. “Vietnamese Americans were split (Senate) or leaned toward the Republican candidates (House),” the survey added. 

About half (51 percent) of Asian American registered voters prefer to cast their ballots by mail or drop-off box, rather than in-person at a polling place. When it came to the leaders of the country, 56 percent of Asian American respondents held a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” impression of Joe Biden compared to 29 percent who expressed either a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” impression of Donald Trump. With Vice President Kamala Harris, Indian Americans were in the lead, with 27 percent having “a very favorable” and 35 percent with “somewhat favorable” opinions about the first woman, first Indian American and first African American vice president. 

Policy issues worrying AAPI voters include inflation, the economy, voting rights and immigration, with health care topping the list. Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder of AAPI Data finds the healthcare concern “fascinating,” as “we don’t typically think of this as a health care election.” Speaking to the media during the launch of the survey, he said “Asian Americans are not single-issue voters. They’re not just civil rights voters, they’re not just immigration voters.”

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Nearly three-quarters of AAPI voters surveyed — 73 percent — said they worry about experiencing hate crimes, harassment and discrimination at least “sometimes,” while 24 percent said they worry about it “very often.”

Language access remains an important consideration for Asian Americans, the survey found. Forty-two percent of Asian American registered voters that spoke a language other than English at home said they would use in-language voting assistance. 

In terms of news sources, television was the most popular (65 percent.) “Facebook (32 percent) was nearly as popular a source as traditional print newspapers (36 percent).” the survey said. “For some groups, especially Vietnamese Americans (51%), YouTube was regularly consulted as a news source.”

The pre-midterm poll included 1,601 registered voters from the Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Korean, Japanese and Vietnamese communities — the top six Asian American groups by population size. The interviews were also offered in Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese, as well as English, survey officials said. 

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The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints and editorial policies of American Kahani.
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