New: Nearly 60% Texas Asian Americans Surveyed Support Obama & Immigration Reform

Friday, Apr 19, 2013

Texas Flag.jpgLast night, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released detailed findings from its nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 613 Asian American voters in Texas in the November 2012 Presidential elections, the largest survey of its kind in the nation.

"Our exit poll results revealed that within the growing Asian American electorate in Texas, support for comprehensive immigration reform and votes for Obama were consistently high across all categories, including across party lines," said Glenn Magpantay, Director of AALDEF's Democracy Program.

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. The exit poll in Texas included Sugarland and Houston, two cities with the largest Asian American populations, including Vietnamese (31%), Asian Indian (25%), Chinese (18%), Pakistani (11%), and Filipino (9%) American.

57% of Asian Americans polled in Texas voted for President Obama, compared to 77% of those polled nationally. 40% of those polled voted for Mitt Romney.  Of Asian Americans surveyed, 37% were enrolled in the Democratic party, while only 26% were enrolled in the Republican party; 34% indicated that they were not enrolled in any party.

The major factors influencing the Asian American vote in Texas were economy/jobs (60%), health care (37%), education (35%), and civil rights/immigrants rights (20%). The majority of Asian Americans (59%) in Texas supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship.

Glenn Magpantay presented the results in Houston, Texas last night. View the presentation >

Key findings include:

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

In the 2012 election, more than 1 in 4 (28%) of Asian Americans surveyed in Texas were first-time voters.

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

57% of Asian Americans in Texas voted for Obama. The highest support came from South Asian voters, specifically, 84% of Pakistani and 74% of Asian Indian Americans.

There was strong support for President Obama across almost all categories, including first-time (65%), foreign- (59%) and native-born (53%), English proficient (60%) voters, and voters of almost all age groups.  Half (50%) of Asian Americans who were limited English proficient voted for Obama, while the other half (50%) voted for Romney.

Of the 34% of Asian Americans in Texas who were not enrolled in any political party, 60% voted for Obama, while 36% voted for Romney.

  • Asian Americans in Texas voted for the Democratic rather than the Republican candidate for Congress at higher rates.

51% voted for Democratic candidate Paul Sadler, while only 39% voted for Republican U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.

In the race for the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrat Al Green received 49% of the Asian American vote.  His opponent, Republican Steve Mueller, received 44%.  In addition, 62% of Asian Americans voted for Democratic candidate Kesha Rogers, while only 34% voted for Republican U.S. Representative Pete Olson.

  • A majority of Asian Americans favored comprehensive immigration reform.

59% of Asian Americans in Texas supported immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, with the highest support from 71% of Pakistani and 66% of Asian Indian American voters.

67% of those who voted for Obama supported immigration reform, and almost half (48%) of those who voted for Romney supported immigration reform.

67% of those enrolled in the Democratic party, 50% of those enrolled in the Republican party, and 52% not enrolled in any political party supported immigration reform.

In the race for U.S. Senate, half (50%) of those who voted for Republican Senator Ted Cruz supported immigration reform.  In the race for U.S. House of Representatives, 67% of those who voted for Democrat Al Green and 56% of those who voted for Republican Pete Olson supported immigration reform.

  • Asian Americans in Texas have higher levels of limited English proficiency.

32% of Asian Americans in Texas spoke English less than "very well" compared to 37% of all Asian Americans nationally. Some ethnic groups had higher rates of limited English proficiency, such as 54% of Vietnamese Americans, followed by 33% of Chinese Americans.

  • Voting barriers persisted.

Voters were asked if they encountered any voting problems. Below are the numbers of complaints:

22 were wrongly required to prove their U.S. citizenship.
13 reported that their names were missing or had errors in the list of voters at poll sites.
10 voters had to vote by provisional ballot.
15 voters reported that poll workers did not know what to do.
9 voters reported that poll workers were rude or hostile.
15 voters reported that no interpreters or translations were available when they needed the help.
9 voters were directed to the wrong poll site or voting machine/table within a site.

About the Asian American Exit Poll:
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. 

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