December 4, 2004
Written by C.N.
Originally posted Sept. 2004
New California Media just released a comprehensive survey entitled, the National Poll of Asian Pacific Islanders on the 2004 Election. The survey included interviews with 1,004 Asian American respondents with detailed information on their ethnicity, their age, educational attainment, residence in a “battleground state,” voting pattern in the 2000 election, opinions on the Iraq War and domestic issues, and experiences of discrimination, to name just a few.
The main findings are that, as of the end of August 2004, Kerry holds a 43 percent to 36 percent lead over Bush among their sample respondents, but with a large 20 percent still undecided. Further, the survey found that Vietnamese and Filipinos are the most likely to vote Republican while Chinese, Asian Indians, and Hmong are much more likely to vote Democratic. Further, the NCM survey notes that young APAs and those with at least a college degree tend to support Kerry while older APAs and those with less education tend to be Bush supporters.
While it would have been nice to have even more detailed cross-tabulations on various respondent characteristics and their voting preferences, the survey seems to be very well constructed, administered, valid, and reliable — not to mention quite interesting. On the one hand, some Asian American commentators see these results as an indication that the APA population is more divided these days than ever. If true, this would seem to hurt efforts to organize the APA vote into a unified voting bloc in the same manner as Blacks and Jews.
While I may not describe the situation so pessimistically, it does make me wonder whether it is realistic to expect the Asian American community to be a united voting bloc. The results of the survey also confirm for me that ultimately, a person should be judged not for who s/he is (i.e., an Asian American) but for what s/he believes and acts (i.e., supports liberal causes). In that sense, it would seem that more “progressive” Asian ethnic groups such as Asian Indians, Hmong, and Chinese may have more in common with people groups like MoveOn.org than with more conservative Asian ethnic groups such as Vietnamese and Filipinos.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "New Asian American Voters Survey" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2004/12/new-asian-american-voters-survey/> ().
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