WASHINGTON, D.C. — Asian Americans remain a solidly Democratic segment of the electorate, with a diverse set of policy views, and are becoming pivotal in key races. The Asian American Election Eve Poll, a pioneering partnership between Asian American Decisions and the AAPI Civic Engagement Fund, interviewed 1,150 Asian Americans between Oct. 30th and Nov. 4th in a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, nationally representative survey with targeted samples of Asian Americans in California, Texas, and Virginia. Some key highlights on vote patterns, key issues, and 2016 are shown below.
• In the mid-term Congressional elections, Asian Americans favored Democratic candidates over their Republican counterparts by nearly a two-to-one margin (66% to 34%). This figure is more solidly Democratic than National Election Pool preliminary exit poll results and we believe they are a more accurate estimate of the 2014 Asian American vote.
• In California, Asian Americans overwhelmingly voted for the incumbent Democrat Jerry Brown over his Republican challenger Neel Kashkari (72% to 21%).
• In Texas, Asian Americans were split down the middle between the Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott and the Democrat Wendy Davis (48% to 48%).
• In Virginia, where it appears the incumbent Democrat Mark Warner barely defeated his Republican challenger Ed Gillespie, Asian Americans strongly favored Warner over Gillespie (68% to 29%). This Democratic advantage among Asian American voters is substantially greater than Warner’s margin of victory and we believe that Asian Americans were a decisive factor in this race.
• Asian Americans, like the rest of the country, continue to list the economy as the “most important issue” that “our politicians should address.” Roughly one in three mention the economy (32%), followed by education and schools (22%), health care (18%), and immigration (13%).
• Nearly three out of four Asian Americans (73%) viewed health care as “one of the most important” or “the most important” issue in their vote choice.
• A smaller, but still significant number of Asian Americans (47%) viewed immigration reform as “one of the most” or “the most” important issue in their vote.
• Looking ahead to the 2016 presidential race, 65% of Asian Americans indicated that they would support the Democratic nominee if the election were held today; 35% would vote for the Republican nominee.
• Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s favorability ratings and name recognition are very high, with 62% favorable, 23% unfavorable, 13% with no opinion, and only 2% reporting that they had not heard of Hillary Clinton.
• Among GOP hopefuls the survey asked about – Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Bobby Jindal – Asian Americans were most favorable towards and most likely to recognize the former Florida Governor Bush. Overall, support for GOP hopefuls is low and lack of name recognition and unformed opinions is high.
The Asian American Election Eve Poll is a partnership between Asian American Decisions, a newly formed sister company to Latino Decisions, and the recently established AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Civic Engagement Fund. A final detailed report from the Asian American Election Eve Poll will be released via webinar is online, including information on the survey methodology used at: http://asianamericandecisions. com and athttp://bit.ly/aapivoting2014.