New Poll: Even GOP Asian Americans Favor Candidates Who Support Immigration Reform

Wednesday, Dec 11, 2013

According to new results of an exit poll released today by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), more than half (52%) of voters polled in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York said they would be likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported comprehensive immigration reform.  More Republican Asian American voters (39%) prefer candidates who support immigration reform than those who prefer candidates against immigration reform (22%), with 39% neutral. Majority support was also consistent whether voters supported Democratic or Republican candidates.  

"Preference for candidates who support immigration reform is high within the politically diverse, independent Asian American community," said Glenn D. Magpantay, Director of AALDEF's Democracy Program.  "GOP candidates would likely gain even among registered Republican Asian American voters by supporting immigration reform."

The nonpartisan multilingual exit poll of 2,290 Asian American voters was conducted by AALDEF at 24 poll sites after the mayoral election in New York and the gubernatorial elections in New Jersey and Virginia. The poll found high numbers of Asian American voters (67%) supported immigration reform including a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, including 68% in New York, 68% in New Jersey, and 65% in Virginia.  

Contact: 
Ujala Sehgal
212.966.5932 x.217
usehgal@aaldef.org

RESULTS

AALDEF conducted the exit poll of 2,290 Asian American voters in Virginia, New Jersey, and New York at 24 poll sites in six languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Bengali, and Punjabi. 

524 Asian American voters were polled in Virginia, 221 voters in New Jersey, and 1,545 were polled in New York.  The largest Asian ethnic groups polled were Chinese (39%), Korean (24%), Asian Indian (10%), Bangladeshi (9%), and Filipino (5%).  Nearly one in ten (8%) of those polled were first-time voters.

Here is a summary of key new findings:

A majority of Asian American voters favored comprehensive immigration reform. 

67% of Asian Americans supported immigration reform including a path to citizenship - 68% in New York, 68% in New Jersey, and 65% in Virginia. 

  • NJ - 54% of Asian American voters overall favored Republican Chris Christie over Democrat Barbara Buono (42%). 69% of Christie voters, as well as 70% of Buono voters, supported immigration reform. 

  • VA - 71% of Asian American voters favored Democrat Terry McAuliffe compared to 26% favoring Republican Ken Cuccinelli. 73% of McAuliffe voters supported immigration reform, whereas 50% of Cuccinelli voters supported immigration reform.   

  • NY - 79% of Asian American voters favored Democrat Bill de Blasio over Republican Joe Lhota (18%). 72% of Asian Americans who voted for de Blasio supported comprehensive immigration reform including a path to citizenship, as well as 52% of Lhota voters. 

A majority of Asian American voters favor congressional candidates who support comprehensive immigration reform. 

52% of voters polled said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. 15% said they would be less likely, and 33% responded that it made no difference. 

  • NY - 52% of overall voters were more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported immigration reform. 14% were less likely, and 34% said it made no difference. Among de Blasio voters, 58% were more likely, 9% less likely, and 32% said it made no difference. Among Lhota voters, 28% were more likely, 32% less likely, and 40% said it made no difference.  

  • NJ - 54% of overall voters were more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported immigration reform. 16% were less likely, and 30% said it made no difference. Among Christie voters, 54% were more likely, 14% less likely, and 31% said it made no difference. Among Buono voters, 57% were more likely, 18% less likely, and 25% said it made no difference.  

  • VA - 53% of overall voters were more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported immigration reform. 16% were less likely, and 31% said it made no difference. Among  McAuliffe voters, 62% were more likely, 11% less likely, and 27% said no difference. Among Cuccinelli voters, 35% were more likely, 29% less likely, and 36% said it made no difference. 

Support for immigration reform is a nonpartisan issue for Asian American voters. 

74% of Democrats, 54% of Republicans, and 57% of those not enrolled in any party supported immigration reform with a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

  • Among Asian American Democrats, 59% were more likely to vote for a candidate for Congress who supported immigration reform, 11% said they would be less likely, and 30% responded that it made no difference. 

  • Among Asian American Republicans, 39% were more likely to vote for a candidate who supported immigration reform, 22% were less likely, and 39% said it made no difference. 

  • Among Asian American not enrolled in any party, 41% were more likely, 20% were less likely, and 39% said it made no difference. 

 

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, noting the steadily increasing numbers of new citizen and first-time voters.  In the 2012 Presidential Election, AALDEF surveyed 9,096 Asian American voters in 37 cities across 14 states.  AALDEF also dispatched 300 attorneys, law students and community volunteers to 60 poll sites to monitor the voting process.  A list of co-sponsoring organizations follows below.  

National Co-Sponsors:
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA)
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
OCA: Asian Pacific American Advocates
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

State/Local Co-Sponsors:
Alliance for South Asian American Labor (ASAAL)
Asian American Society of Central Virginia (AASOCVA)
Asian Pacific America Legal Resource Center (APALRC)
Chhaya CDC
Coalition of Asian Pacific American of Virginia (CAPAVA)
Minkwon Center
National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) - DC and NY Chapters

Legal Co-Sponsors
Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY)
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Greater DC (APABA-DC)
Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey (APALA-NJ)
Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY)
Muslim Bar Association of New York (MuBANY)
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) South Asian Bar Association of New York (SABANY)
South Asian Bar Association of Greater DC 

 

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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.