National Asian American Survey reports Asian Americans overwhelmingly support affirmative action

LOS ANGELES – Asian Americans are overwhelmingly supportive of affirmative action, with about more than 75 percent of Asian American adults supporting “affirmative action programs designed to help blacks, women, and other minorities get better jobs and education,” according to two new reports released this week from the National Asian American Survey (NAAS).

During an Oct. 2 news conference, APALC Executive Director Stewart Kwoh said the national Asian American survey poll results on affirmative action are especially timely given the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Fisher v. Texas case on Tuesday, Oct. 10.

“APALC, along with our Advancing Justice affiliates and over 70 civil rights, advocacy, business and student groups nationwide have filed an amicus brief in this case supporting the University of Texas at Austin’s holistic admissions program that considers race as one of several factors for a small percentage of each incoming class,” Kwoh said. “These poll results demonstrate that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders across the country support fairness and equal opportunity – not exclusion.”

The reports also found that Asian Americans, who account for 10 percent of registered voters in California, support a tax measure proposed by Governor Jerry Brown, are closely divided on the death penalty ballot measure, overwhelmingly support affirmative action, and support tax increases on high earners to close the federal budget deficit.

The results are drawn from interviews conducted through September 19, 2012, with more than 1,150 respondents residing in California. Among the fastest growing groups in America, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders grew by nearly a third in California between 2000 and 2010, and constitute nearly 15 percent of the state’s resident population.

“Just as in the national picture, a large proportion of Asian Americans in California are undecided on the presidential election and key state ballot measures,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science at the University of California-Riverside and director of the National Asian American Survey (NAAS).  “When compared to the general electorate, the Asian American vote is very much up for grabs at this late stage in various campaigns.”

The survey was conducted by professors Karthick Ramakrishnan and Taeku Lee from the University of California, who together have written seven books and dozens of articles on racial/ethnic politics, and have conducted 17 surveys, eight of which have included multiple language support for Asian Americans. 

The full reports, including information about the survey methodology, can be found here:


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