NAAS, The Breakdown, And Tipping The Scales

Monday, October 06, 2008

Interesting article down at on the breakdown of Asian Americans and who we might be voting for from a recent National Asian American Survey:

Overall, 41 percent of "likely voters" among the 4,400 Asian Americans polled nationwide by the National Asian American Survey (NAAS) said they intended to vote for Obama, while 24 percent said they supported McCain.

In a number of critical "swing states" -- those states whose electoral votes are considered up for grabs by the two campaigns -- the margin for Obama was slightly larger, 43 percent to 22 percent, according to the NAAS, a joint project of four major state universities in California and New Jersey and the most comprehensive pre-election survey of Asian-American opinion...Of the major sub-groups of the nearly 15 million Asian Americans in the U.S., likely voters with South Asian ancestry favoured Obama by four to one (53 percent to 13 percent for McCain). More than two of every ever three Japanese Americans said they supported Obama (60-17 percent), as did Chinese Americans (41-12 percent).

Filipino-Americans and Korean-Americans were more evenly divided, with pluralities in both groups going to Obama.
So far so good, but then:

At the same time, 34 percent of "likely voters" said they had not yet decided -- a substantially larger percentage than the eight to 10 percent of the general electorate at this point in the campaign who have not opted for either candidate.
And to prove we're all not in the same collective:

The only sub-group in which McCain led was among Vietnamese, a traditionally Republican community since they arrived here in large numbers after the defeat of U.S.-backed South Vietnam in 1975.

Likely Vietnamese-American voters said they supported McCain by a two-to-one margin -- 51 percent to 24 percent, according to the survey, which was conducted from mid-August to Sep. 26, the day of the first debate between the two candidates.
I think they need to redo this poll in light of the Couric Investigations...

But in not deciding (or just being Asian), there is power

While I kind of lament those who haven't been able to make up their mind yet, it does seem to be beneficial in swing states where more attention is being paid to the Asian American voters more so than in past elections (decided or undecided):

Speaking to reporters in a conference call Monday afternoon, the researchers said that Asian-Americans could be a pivotal voting bloc in presidential battleground states like Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia, where Obama and McCain are polling competitively.

“Those battleground states in this year’s election, a lot of them happen to be the states in which the Asian-American population is growing at an explosive rate,” said Taeku Lee, a political scientist at the University of California at Berkeley.

“As we’ve seen in the past, you can win a very large state by a few thousand votes, and we clearly have many more of those in states like Virginia and Florida,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political scientist at the University of California at Riverside.

Janelle Wong, a political scientist at the University of Southern California, said that more Asian-American voters prefer the Democratic Party to the Republican Party because they came of political age during the 1990s, during the Democratic administration of President Bill Clinton.
Check out more from the article down at CQ Politics.