LOS ANGELES (December 9, 2010) – Asian American voters in California support many pro-immigrant policies like the DREAM Act and provided strong support for Democratic candidates in the November 2010 election, according to the recently released USC College/Los Angeles Times poll. As the nation continues to struggle with its broken immigration system, the poll shows that Asian American voters tend to favor pro-immigrant policies such as reductions in family backlogs (82 percent) and legalizing undocumented children (76 percent).
“Asian Americans are a community of immigrants,” said Stewart Kwoh, President and Executive Director of APALC. “We support policies like the DREAM Act and family reunification because we want to give everyone in our community a chance to achieve the American dream.”
In addition, Asian Americans as well as Latinos voted convincingly for Jerry Brown in the Governor’s race and Barbara Boxer in the U.S. Senate race, while white voters were divided. In the Governor’s race, Asian Americans favored Democrat Jerry Brown (60 percent) over Republican Meg Whitman (39 percent), compared to white voters at 46 percent for Brown and 48 percent for Whitman. In the Senate race, Asian Americans supported Democrat Barbara Boxer (59 percent) over Republican Carly Fiorina (34 percent), compared to white voters at 43 percent for Boxer and 50 percent for Fiorina.
“Candidates who won the Asian American and Latino vote succeeded on Election Day,” said Dan Ichinose, director of APALC’s demographic research project. “In California, this meant that Democrats rode to victory on the backs of immigrant voters, including Asian American voters.”
The poll also confirmed a pattern observed in other research on Asian American voters – Asian Americans are more likely than any other group to register as “decline to state” voters (35 percent of Asian Americans compared to 21 percent of Latinos and 26 percent of whites).
“Asian American voters are a complex electorate, with shifting alignments that are not tied to a particular party or issue,” said Karin Wang, APALC’s vice president of programs and communications. “With the rapid expansion of the Asian American electorate, we need more data like this, to allow an in-depth analysis of Asian American voting patterns and attitudes.”
The poll was conducted immediately after the election and, with support from the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC), included an oversample of Asian American voters, including those who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Tagalog or Vietnamese. The data is available at: http://www.greenbergresearch.com/index.php?ID=2548.
Founded in 1983, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for civil rights, providing legal services and education, and building coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Pacific Americans and to create a more equitable and harmonious society. APALC is a member of Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, which also includes Asian American Institute (Chicago, IL), Asian American Justice Center (Washington, DC) and Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco, CA).