Thursday, November 1, 2012


According to the National Asian American Survey,* conducted and updated on October 15, 2012, the following is the Presidential vote choice among likely Asian American voters:

OBAMA – 52%    ROMNEY – 19%    UNDECIDED – 28%  OTHER – 1%

Even if all the undecided voters choose Romney, which is unlikely, it looks like the Asian Americans will be choosing Obama again in these 2012 elections. In 2008, 62% of them went for Obama. So, the latter must capture 10% more among the undecided to obtain a similar percentage.


The survey also shows that Asian Americans have identified certain key issues that are important to them, and which candidate is closer on the key issues as reflected in Figure 2.

The proximity of either candidate on the issues that are key to Asian Americans should explain why.

How about their party identification? The data in the survey reveals the following:

                          Democrat     Republican   Independent /Non-Partisan

            Chinese          29%                9%                  58%

            Indian             50%                3%                  47%

            Filipino           24%                27%                45%

            Vietnamese    16%                20%                64%

            Korean           46%                18%                34%

            Japanese        37%                18%                45%

            Cambodian    26%                5%                  68%

            Hmong            52%                7%                  41%

Native Hawaiian        41%               14%                40%

            Samoan          57%                16%                24%

As shown above, a substantial portion of Asian Americans are really independent or non-partisan. In the case of the Filipinos, for example, while 27% of them are Republicans and only 24% are Democrats, 45% are independent or non-partisan. In California, it is a little different: 34% of Filipinos are Democrats, 25% are Republicans, and 42% are independent or non-partisan.

How will the Filipinos vote in this Presidential race? According to the survey, 32% will vote for Obama, 38% for Romney, and 28% are still undecided. I suspect that many of those who say they are undecided have actually decided, but preferred not to reveal their preference openly. This way they can say they voted for the winner later.

The majority of Asian Americans as a group are voting for Obama. With the help of the Filipino Democrats, they can ensure that Obama wins in swing states Ohio, Virginia, Nevada, and Florida. It is okay for the Asian Americans to claim credit if Obama wins.

But if Romney wins in Virginia and in the other swing states, Filipino Republicans should be given more credit, as they are the one ethnic group among Asian Americans who worked for Romney the hardest.

Regardless of who wins the Presidential race, Asian Americans and Filipinos would have played some role.
*The National Asian American Survey is the collaborative effort of Karthick Ramakrishnan at University of California-Riverside and Taeku Lee at University of California-Berkeley.

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