HomeAsian AmericansPreliminary Exit Poll Results Show AAPI Support for Biden

Preliminary Exit Poll Results Show AAPI Support for Biden

by Akemi Tamanaha, Associate Editor

Preliminary results from Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund show Joe Biden leading with Asian American voters.

AALDEF surveyed 5,000 Asian American voters on election day in English and nine Asian languages. Preliminary results show that 67% of voters said they voted for Joe Biden. Another 30% voted for Donald Trump, 2% voted for another candidate and 1% did not vote on the presidency.

Some people speculated that Biden might underperform with Asian American voters. Jerry Vattamala, Democracy Program Director for AALDEF, told AsAmNews an interview that Biden’s performance with depends on “what the baseline is.”

Vattamala says Biden has performed well with Asian American voters as a whole, but not every ethnic group supported him. Large numbers of Vietnamese Americans and Filipino Americans cast votes for Trump.

Asian Americans were slated to play an important role in swing states. AALDEF has not broken down it’s data by state but it did conduct exit polling in states like Nevada, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

“We haven’t broken it out by state yet but I suspect there’s going to be similar support of above 60 percent and higher for Biden,” Vattamala said. “That could be the difference in the razor close margins.”

AALDEF will also break down their data by age range in the next few days. Vattamala says they expect the Asian American youth vote will support Biden. Asian American youth have voiced their strong disapproval of Trump in previous AALDEF polls.

“We definitely in the last few exit polls that we’ve done in 2016-19 definitely have seen a huge generational divide over Trump on who’s voting for him and the approval rating,” Vattamala said.

The preliminary results of the 2020 AALDEF exit poll also found that 30 percent of Asian American voters were first time voters, which Vattamala says is “a little high.”

“It’s well above what we’ve seen for the average of other racial groups,” Vattamala said.

Vattamala said the number of first-time Asian American voters might have been even bigger if it wasn’t for backlogs in naturalizations, cancellations of voter registration events for dually naturalized citizens and cancellations of voter registration drives within community groups.

“Because of the pandemic I think there were a lot of people who could have been voting for the first time that were unable to because of all those things,” Vattamala said.

AALDEF pollsters did not ask Asian American voters why they were voting for the first time, but they did ask them who they voted for and who they were enrolled. The organization plans on further disaggregating that data in the future.

Vattamala noted that because the Asian American community is a lot smaller than some other groups they are not always included in certain polls. But that doesn’t mean their vote doesn’t make a difference.

“That’s why we do this to get this data and report out so people can see how Asian Americans are voting,” Vattamala said.

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