Asian-Americans Shifting Away from the Republican Party

Asian-American voter (The Huffington Post)

Asian-American voter (The Huffington Post)

Recent data shows that Asian-Americans are leaving the Republican party to vote Democrat.

Through the 1990s, Asian-Americans were more likely to vote Republican. It’s thought that Asian-American generally voted for the Republican candidate due to connecting with fiscally and socially conservative platforms. Asian-Americans voted Republican around 55% of the time during the 1992 presidential election between Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton (who ended up winning). The 2000 election became a turning point when more Asian-Americans began supporting the Democrat candidate. In 2012, Barack Obama won with Asian voters by “nearly 50 percentage points.”¬†Karthick Ramakrishnan of the National Asian American Survey attributes this outcome to Democrats actively trying to win the Asian-American vote.

Party Identification Among Asian-Americans (NPR)

Party Identification Among Asian-Americans (NPR)

Over time, Asian-Americans gravitating towards the Democrats doesn’t seem like a big deal, and more like a natural shift over time. Except that it might not be. This fact becomes more¬†important in this election where surveys have shown Asian-Americans rejecting many points of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s platform: keeping out and deporting immigrants, diplomacy with China, among other aspects.

But it’s too early to tell whether this shift for Asian-Americans toward the Democrats is a blip on the radar or foretelling a larger, more long-term trend. According to Ramakrishnan, it’s too early to tell. In 2015, 47% of Asian-Americans identified as politically independent.

In October 2016, a survey found that registered Asian-American voters supported Hillary Clinton over Trump by a 4-to-1 lead.