Asian Americans Advancing Justice - LA

Building upon the legacy of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center

California’s Asian Voters Could Deliver Poll Wins–Study

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

LOS ANGELES — Asian Americans could deliver election victories to campaigns and candidates who understand what motivates Asian American voters, says a poll done by an influential Asian American organization.

The California-wide poll released March 30 was conducted by Advancing Justice-LA Demographic Research project headed by Daniel Ichinose, M.A., who reported: “It’s issues, not party affiliation, that drive how we vote.”

The Advancing Justice-LA  project underscores the observation that Asian American voters have the potential to deliver the margin of victory in many local, state and federal elections. Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group across the United States.

Conducted by telephone, the poll surveyed over 3,500 Asian American registered voters across the state, in English and six Asian languages: Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

The Advancing Justice-LA report highlights the following data supporting Asian Americans’ significant impact on the coming elections:

  • There were 1.7 million Asian Americans registered to vote in California as of the 2012 presidential election;
  • Asian Americans will make up nearly 11% of California voters by this year’s election;
  • The number of Asian Americans registered to vote in California increased 60% between 2002 and 2012.

Speaking on the first day of the two-day national convention of Asian Americans, AJ-

president and executive director Stewart Kwoh said, “in this election cycle, where every vote will count, Asian American voters should not be ignored or taken for granted.”

Billed as “Empowering Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities, 2016 and Beyond,” the conference was attended by more than 850 students, educators, professionals, legislative and policy makers in California. With regards to issues important to Asian Americans, Kwoh said that the study shows, “Our community supports those who do the right thing for their families on key issues like education, health care reform, and immigration.”

On health care: Some 76% of those surveyed that included Democrats and Republicans think the “Affordable Care Act” is good for America.

On Immigration Reform, 65% support a path to legalization for the undocumented.

On Education: 80% Democrats, Republicans and those with “No Party affiliations” are almost evenly distributed among those who support giving priority to students who are low-income, limited-English speaking, or foster youth.

Of those who support an increase in enrollment, 67% would be willing to pay more in taxes to achieve it, including 80% of Democrats, 68% of the unaffiliated voters, and 62% of Republicans. Ichinose also reported that there are 25 legislative districts in which Asian Americans make up 25% or more of the electorate. This is based on the California Secretary of State’s Office’s Statewide Voter File (April 8, 2013). These include the congressional districts, State Senate districts and State Assembly districts of Santa Clara/Alameda, Los Angeles (San Gabriel Valley), San Francisco, San Mateo, Orange (Los Angeles).

Ichinose said there were 38 legislative districts in which Asian American voter registration exceeded the margin of victory.

Speakers at the conference included Congress members Judy Chu and Ted Lieu; California Assemblymembers Rob Bonta and Evan Low; LA Councilmember David Ryu and Mayor Bao Nguyen, City of Garden Grove. Conference attendees participated in two days of panel discussions, caucus sessions, skills and capacity building, trainings, and networking receptions.

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Our mission is to advocate for civil rights, provide legal services and education, and build coalitions to positively influence and impact Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders and to create a more equitable and harmonious society.