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Asian Americans Less Likely to Get Response from their State Legislator

VoteA new study has found that Asian Americans who reach out to their state legislator are less likely to get a response than other groups, according to researchers who shared their findings in a blog on the Washington Post.

Micah Gell-Redman from the University of Georgia, Neil Visalvanich from Durham University, and Charles Crabtree and Christopher Farris from the University of Michigan created email addresses from fictitious constituents with different demographic characteristics.

The study’s authors found that legislators were less likely to respond to requests from racial and ethnic minorities, however the disparity was greatest for Asian American constituents.

69 percent of the state legislators in the country representing 42 states were tested.

Blacks were three percent less likely to get a response than Whites.

Latinos were seven percent less likely and Asian Americans were nine percent less likely.

Republicans were 9 percent less likely than Democrats to respond to a Latino. The study doesn’t give a reason why, but suspects that may be due to one of two factors. Prejudice may be to blame or it’s possible Republicans dismiss Latinos because they are statistically more likely to be a Democrat.

When it comes to Asian Americans, Democrats and Republicans are equally less likely to respond. It’s possible that Asians are dismissed because they are less likely to vote. However, Latinos are also less likely to vote. Their population is also much larger than Asians.

Both Latinos and Asian Americans are also more likely to be independent and not loyal to either party. The study concludes “if both parties fail to engage with this growing constituency, members of these groups may well have reason to feel less than enthusiastic about politics and to stay away from the polls, making this self-reinforcing.”

In a glaring omission, the authors in their Washington Post blog do not mention prejudice as a possible factor for Asian Americans to not receive a response.
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