Indian Americans likely to vote for Democrats in November: Survey

Health care, jobs and the economy, crime, education, gun control, environment top issues for Asian Americans

While Asian American registered voters as a whole lean Democratic, Indian Americans are most likely to vote for Democratic candidates in House and Senate elections in November mid term poll, according to a new survey.

Vietnamese Americans were split (Senate) or leaned toward the Republican candidates (House), according to the survey by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – (AAJC), Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), and AAPI Data.

The three community groups released their bi-annual report measuring Asian American sentiment and attitudes on the issues top of mind in the lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections on July 25.

Read: AAPI Victory Fund appoints two Indian Americans to top jobs (July 18, 2022)Americans

The survey revealed many insights into one of the fastest-growing racial groups in the United States, including their voting plans for House and Senate races in 2022, and various issue priorities such as education, healthcare, gun control, environment, and the state of the economy.

In addition to election-related topics, the survey also contains key opinion data on affirmative action, the inclusion of Asian American history and the history of other non-white groups in public school curricula, and attitudes on federal spending.

This year’s Asian American Voter Survey also should that a significant majority of Asian Americans believed that Congress and the president should pass stronger legislation to reduce the effects of climate change, and that public schools should include lessons on Asian American history and the histories of other non-white groups.

As many as 44% of Asian American registered voters surveyed think of themselves as Democrat, 19% think of themselves as Republican, and 29% consider themselves Independent. The remainder (“do not think of themselves in terms of political parties,” identify with another party, or said they don’t know).

Asian American respondents ranked health care (88%), jobs and the economy (86%), crime (85%), education (82%), gun control (73%) and the environment (75%) as “extremely important” or “very important” issues for deciding their votes in November. Voting rights and addressing racism were also important issues.
“Asian American communities, despite the progress we have made and increasing political power, are still being ignored by many politicians, to their detriment,” said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote.

“While Asian Americans comprise a multitude of ethnicities and languages, this survey shows that on many issues, they have many areas of common concern and interest, where they tend to vote as a bloc. This includes everything from the economy to healthcare, the environment to the need for stricter gun laws.”

“Asian Americans are among the fastest growing segments of the American electorate, and it is critical that our understanding of these communities is grounded in accurate survey data,” noted Janelle Wong, co-director of AAPI Data.

Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and co-director of AAPI Data added, “Our survey data show remarkable stability over time on issues like environmental protection and gun control, but they also show that more recent anxieties over hate crimes might also sway voters in their candidate choices.”

“Asian Americans are part of a diverse community comprising over  50 different ethnicities and 100 different languages, so it is critical  that we conduct this survey every two years because often we are either left out of the polling data or considered an afterthought in the numbers that get reported,” said Jiny Kim, Vice President of Policy and Programs at Asian American Advancing Justice (AAJC).

The survey was conducted between April 19, 2022 and June 19, 2022. The survey included 1,610 registered Asian American voters.

Read: Poll: More than half of AAPI voters have never been contacted by a political party (July 26, 2022)

Key findings 

  • More than two-thirds of registered Asian Americans surveyed say they plan to vote, but only about half have been contacted by either of the major parties.
  • 52% of Asian Americans said they had not been contacted at all by the Democratic Party in the past year, and 60% of Asian Americans said they had not been contacted at all by the Republican Party in the past year.
  • About half (51%) of Asian American registered voters surveyed say they prefer to cast their ballots by mail or drop-off box, rather than in-person at a polling place.
  • On addressing issues of health care, gun control, the environment, voting rights, and racism, Asian American respondents said Democrats were doing a better job than Republicans. On addressing economic issues, crime, and foreign-policy, respondents were more split in their assessment of the two parties’ handling of the issues.
  • 77% of those surveyed agree the United States should have stricter gun laws, with 61% agreeing “strongly.” A strong majority (59%) also said they “agree somewhat” or “agree strongly” that undocumented immigrants should have an opportunity to eventually become citizens in the United States.
  • By a 2-to-1 margin, Asian American registered voters oppose bans on books and bans on lessons about racism in American history by state/local governments or school boards.
  • 56% of Asian American respondents held a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” impression of Joe Biden compared to 29% who expressed either a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” impression of Donald Trump.
  • Television was the most common news source for Asian American respondents (65%) and Facebook (32%) was nearly as common a news source as traditional print newspapers (36%). For some groups, especially Vietnamese Americans (51%), YouTube was regularly consulted as a news source.
  • 73% of Asian Americans worry about experiencing hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination at least “sometimes” and 24% said they worry about it “very often.”
  • Among those who say they worry “very often” about hate crimes, support for Democratic House candidates is higher than support for Republican House candidates by a 3 to 1 margin.
  • While Asian Americans continue to be the fastest growing voting bloc in the United States, increasing in voter turnout by 47% in the 2020 presidential election (according to TargetSmart), and have had significant impact in the election outcomes of key battleground states, most reported little to no outreach from either party in the past year.

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