Exit Poll Shows Whopping 88% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas Support Immigration Reform

Thursday, Apr 25, 2013

Las Vegas.jpgApril 25, 2013 -- Today, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released detailed findings from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 336 Asian American voters in Las Vegas, Nevada in the November 2012 elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation. The results indicated that Asian Americans backed President Obama and Democratic candidates by a wide margin, and a staggering 88% supported comprehensive immigration reform.

81% of Asian Americans polled in Las Vegas, Nevada voted for President Obama, compared to 77% of those polled nationally. Of those surveyed, 72% were enrolled in the Democratic Party, while only 17% were enrolled in the Republican Party. 10% indicated that they were not enrolled in any party.

"The Asian American growth rate in Nevada is the highest in the nation, at 116%," said Glenn D. Magpantay, AALDEF Democracy Program Director. "Asian Americans make up close to 10% of the population in Clark County. This is a rapidly gowing population with high Democratic party enrollment, and policymakers should be advised of the issues that are driving these voters to the polls."

The major factors influencing the Asian American vote in Las Vegas were economy/jobs (63%), health care (40%), education (32%), and civil rights/immigrants rights (25%). 88% supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.

The exit poll results are part of AALDEF's 14-state multilingual exit poll of 9,096 Asian American voters in jurisdictions with large Asian American populations. In Las Vegas, the largest Asian ethnic group polled was Filipino Americans at 67%. This was followed by Chinese (6%), Asian Indian (2%), and Korean (2%) Americans.

Glenn Magpantay presented the results of the 2012 multilingual exit poll in a telebriefing on April 25. View the presentation >

Key findings include the following:

  • Asian Americans are a growing portion of the Nevada electorate.

In the 2012 election, more than 1 in 4 (26%) of Asian Americans surveyed in Las Vegas, NV were first-time voters.  

  • The majority of Asian Americans in Nevada voted for President Obama.

81% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas, NV voted for President Obama.

Support for Obama was consistent across all categories, including first-time (90%), foreign- (80%) and native-born (81%), limited English proficient (69%) and English proficient (82%) voters, and voters of all age groups.

Of the 10% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas, NV who were not enrolled in any political party, 84% voted for President Obama, while 10% voted for Romney.

  • The majority of Asian Americans in Nevada supported the Democratic candidate for Congress.

79% of Asian Americans voted Democrat Shelley Berkley for U.S. Senator, while 17% voted for Republican Dean Heller. Likewise, 81% of Asian Americans voted for Democrat Dina Titus for the U.S. House of Representatives, compared to 17% for Republican Chris Edwards.

  • A majority of Asian Americans favored comprehensive immigration reform.

88% of Asian Americans in Las Vegas, NV supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship. 86% of Filipino American voters favored immigration reform.

This support was high across candidates and political parties. 92% of those who voted for President Obama and 71% of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform. 92% of Democrats, 71% of Republicans, and 84% not enrolled in any political party supported immigration reform. In the race for U.S. Senate, 68% of those who voted for Republican Dean Heller supported immigration reform.  In the race for U.S. House of Representatives, 93% of those who voted for Democrat Dina Titus supported immigration reform.

  • Voting barriers persisted.

Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems:

39 voters were wrongly required to show ID.
4 voters were required to prove their U.S. citizenship.
8 voters indicated that their names were missing at poll sites or had errors.
1 voter indicated that no interpreters or translations were available when needed.
1 voter was directed to the wrong voting location.

About the Exit Poll:

AALDEF's multilingual exit polls reveal vital information about Asian American voting patterns that is often overlooked in mainstream voter surveys. AALDEF has conducted exit polls of Asian American voters in every major election since 1988. In 2012, more than 100 community groups and organizations joined AALDEF to mobilize over 800 attorneys, law students, and volunteers to conduct the exit poll and to safeguard the voting rights of Asian Americans. A list of co-sponsoring organizations and law firms follows below. 


The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), founded in 1974, is a national organization that protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans.  By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all.

Ujala Sehgal
212.966.5932 x.217

2012 AALDEF ASIAN AMERICAN EXIT POLL - Co-Sponsoring Organizations and Law Firms

National Co-Sponsors

Alliance of South Asian American Labor
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance
Common Cause
Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Nat'l Coalition of Asian Pac. Amer. Comm. Dev.
Nat'l Korean Amer. Service & Education Consortium
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance
North American South Asian Bar Association
OCA (formerly Organization of Chinese Americans)
South Asian Americans Leading Together

Local Co-Sponsors

APALA - Nevada
APIA Vote - Michigan
Asian American Society of Central Virginia
Boat People SOS Delaware Valley - PA
Cambodian Association of Greater Philadelphia
Center for Pan Asian Community Services - GA
Chhaya CDC - NY
Chinese-American Planning Council - NY
Chinese Community Federation of Atlanta
Chinese Progressive Association - MA
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans of Virginia
East Coast Asian American Student Union
Gay Asian and Pacific Islander Men of New York
Hunter College/CUNY, Asian Am. Studies Prog - NY
Korean American Civic Empowerment of NY/NJ
Korean American Resource and Cultural Center - IL
MinKwon Center for Community Action - NY
NAAAP - New York
NAAAP - Philadelphia
NANAY - FL                         
NAPAWF - New York City
OCA: Georgia
OCA: Greater Houston
OCA: Greater Philadelphia
OCA: Greater Washington DC
OCA: Northern Virginia
OCA: South Florida
Pace University, ACE House - NY
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation
Princeton Asian American Students Association - NJ
South Asian Lesbian & Gay Association of New York
U. California San Diego, Lambda Phi Epsilon
U. Maryland, College Park, Asian Amer. Studies Prog.
U. Massachusetts Boston, Asian Amer. Studies Prog.
Viet. Amer. Young Leaders Assoc. of New Orleans

Legal Co-Sponsors

Asian American Bar Association of Houston
Asian American Bar Association of New York
Asian American Lawyers Assoc. of Massachusetts
Asian American Legal Advocacy Center of Georgia
Asian Bar Association of Las Vegas - NV
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Wash., DC
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of Pennsylvania
Asian Pacific American Bar Assoc. of South Florida
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of NJ   
Asian Pacific American Legal Resource Center - DC
Boston University School of Law, APALSA - MA
Brooklyn Law School, APALSA - NY
Columbia Law School, APALSA - NY
Filipino Amer. Legal Defense & Educ. Fund, Inc. - NY
Georgetown Law, APALSA - DC
Georgia Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Greater Boston Legal Services: Asian Outreach Unit
Harvard Law School, APALSA - MA
Korean Amer. Bar Assoc. of the Washington DC Area
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater NY
Louisiana Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Muslim American Bar Association of New York
New England School of Law, APALSA - MA
Pace Law School, Public Interest Law Center - NY
Rutgers School of Law-Newark, APALSA - NJ
South Asian Bar Association of New York
South Asian Bar Association of Washington, DC
Suffolk U. Law Rappaport Ctr. Law and Public Serv.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, APALSA
U. Penn. Law, Public Interest Office and APALSA

Law Firm Co-Sponsors

Alston & Bird LLP
Ballard Spahr LLP
Crowell & Moring LLP
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
Duane Morris LLP
Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP
Fowler White Boggs
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Hogan Lovells
K&L Gates LLP
Kaye Scholer LLP
Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
McCarter & English LLP
Morrison & Foerster LLP
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Paul Hastings LLP
Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Pepper Hamilton LLP
Proskauer Rose LLP
Ropes & Gray LLP
Shearman & Sterling LLP
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP
White & Case LLP