A survey released today by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and AAPIData reveals many insights into the fastest-growing racial group in the United States, including their voting plans for House and Senate races in 2018, and various issue priorities such as education, health care, and the state of the economy. In addition to election-related topics, the survey also contains key opinion data on affirmative action, labor protections, and immigration policy, including the administration’s recently announced plans to revoke the legal status of immigrants with green cards who have used government assistance.
Sponsored by Civic Leadership USA and conducted in partnership with Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA), and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, the survey presents the results of interviews conducted by telephone and online from August 23 – October 4, 2018 of 1,316 Asian American registered voters.
As the Asian American electorate continues to grow, the group will continue to play a significant role in political races at the national, state, and local levels. Of importance is the increase in voter enthusiasm, with 48% polled indicating they are “more enthusiastic about voting this year” compared to only 28% in 2014.
Of note, the Democratic Party holds a sizable advantage on most issues, with the greatest gaps found on the environment, racial discrimination, health care, and gun control. At the same time, the Republican Party fares stronger on issues like taxes, jobs and the economy, and national security. The Republican Party’s issue advantage among Asian American voters is stronger than in 2014, where it held an advantage only on issues of national security.
Other notes of importance in the survey include:
- Party Prospects in 2018 Midterms: Democratic Party candidates enjoy strong advantages among Asian American voters when compared to Republican candidates, both in U.S. Senate races (52%-28%) and in House races (50%-28%). Vietnamese American voters prefer Republican candidates in House races, and Filipino voters outside of California have a slight preference for Republican Senate candidates.
- Party Favorability: Asian American registered voters hold a net unfavorable view of the Republican Party, with 52% viewing the party unfavorably and 34% viewing it favorably. At the same time, Asian American registered voters give the Democratic Party a large net favorable rating (58%-28%).
- Government Services: Asian Americans continue to support bigger government providing more services, including health care access for undocumented immigrants, over smaller government providing fewer services (44% versus 24%, see Table 6). And this support is consistent across ethnic groups, including among groups like Vietnamese Americans who are Republican-leaning.
- Pathway to Citizenship: 64% of Asian Americans support, and 20% oppose, a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Support for this policy is consistent across the board, including among Asian American Republicans.
- Affirmative Action: 58% of Asian Americans think affirmative action programs designed to increase the number of black and minority students on college campuses are a “good thing,” and an even larger 66% favor affirmative action programs designed to help African Americans, women, and other minorities get better access to higher education.
- Gun Control: Gun control has strong and consistent support among Asian Americans. By a nearly a 7-to-1 ratio, Asian American registered voters favor stricter gun laws in the United States, with net support strongest among Chinese Americans and the foreign born. And, while Democrats show the strongest support, even Asian American Republicans favor stricter gun laws.