Asian American and Pacific Islands American conservatism in the United States

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Asian Americans and Pacific Islands Americans have given fluctuating levels of support to conservative movements and political parties in the United States, particularly the Republican Party. Many Republican Party members with these origins have obtained posts as elected representatives and political appointments as office holders.

Voting trends[edit]

From the 1940s to the 1990s most Asian Americans were anti-communist refugees who had fled mainland China, North Korea or Vietnam, and were strongly anti-Communist. Many had ties to conservative organizations.[1][2] In recent years, more liberal Asian-American groups such as newer Chinese and Indian immigrants have greatly changed the Asian-American political demographics, as well as a larger proportion of younger Asian Americans, many of whom have completed college degrees.[3]

During the 1990s and 2000s, Asian American voting behavior shifted from moderate support for the Republican Party to stronger support for the Democratic Party.[4] In the 1992 presidential election Republican George H. W. Bush received 55% of the Asian-American vote compared to 31% for Democrat Bill Clinton. Asian Americans voted Republican and were the only racial group more conservative than whites in the 1990s, according to surveys.[1] By the 2004 election, Democrat John Kerry won 56% of the Asian American vote, with Chinese and Indian Americans tending to support Kerry, and Vietnamese and Filipino Americans tending to support George Bush.[5] Japanese-Americans leaned towards Kerry, while Korean-Americans leaned towards Bush.[5] Democrat Barack Obama won 62% of the Asian American vote in the 2008 presidential election,[6] with the margin increasing during the 2012 presidential election, where Asian Americans voted to re-elect Obama by 73%.[7] In the 2014 midterm elections, based on exit polls, 50% of Asian Americans voted Republican, while 49% voted Democrat; this swing towards voting for Republicans was a shift from the strong Democratic vote in 2012, and had not reached 50% since 1996.[8] The 2016 National Asian American Survey, conducted before the 2016 presidential election, found that 55% of Asian American registered voters supported Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and only 14% supported Republican candidate Donald Trump.[9]

Despite their growing trend of voting for Democrats in national elections, Asian Americans have tended to identify as independents and have not developed strong ties to political parties as a group.[10] Due to the smaller size of the groups population, in comparison to the population as a whole, it has been difficult to get an adequate sampling to forecast voter outcomes for Asian Americans.[11] In 2008, polls indicated that 35% considered themselves non-partisan, 32% Democrats, 19% independents, and 14% Republicans.[12] The 2012 National Asian American Survey found that 51% considered themselves non-partisan, 33% Democrats, 14% Republicans, and 2% Other;[13][14] Hmong, Indian, and Korean Americans strongly identified as Democrats, and Filipino and Vietnamese Americans most strongly identified as Republicans.[14] In 2013, according to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Chinese Americans were the least likely Asian American ethnicity to have a party affiliation, with only one third belonging to a party.[15] The 2016 National Asian American Survey found that 41% of Asian Americans identified as non-partisan, 41% as Democrats (a modest increase from 2008 and 2012), and 16% as Republicans.[9]

Neither the Republican nor Democratic parties have financed significant efforts to the registration of Asian Americans, however much more attention has been focused on contributions from Asian Americans,[16] having once been referred to as potential "Republican Jews".[17] As recently as 2006, the outreach efforts of America's two major political parties have been unbalanced, with the Democratic Party devoting more resources in attracting Asian Americans.[18] In 2016, a majority of Asian-Americans possessed the same political views on racial profiling, education, social security, and immigration reform as the Democratic Party; the efforts to attract Asian-Americans has produced a proportionally significant growth in Democratic affiliation by Asian-Americans from 2012 to 2016 by 12 percent.[19] Political affiliation aside, Asian Americans have trended to become more politically active as a whole, with 2008 seeing an increase of voter participation by 4% to a 49% voting rate.[20]

Timeline of events[edit]

This is a timeline of significant events in Asian history which have shaped the conservative movement in the United States.
















New Hampshire[edit]

New Jersey[edit]

New York[edit]





Rhode Island[edit]





Washington, D.C.[edit]

West Virginia[edit]



  1. ^ a b Jeffrey D. Schultz, ed., Encyclopedia of Minorities in American Politics (2000) Volume 1 pp 261-62
  2. ^ William Wei, The Asian American movement (1993) pp 16, 226, 274
  3. ^ William Wei, The Asian American movement (1993) pp 170, 274
  4. ^ "How Asian Americans Became Democrats". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  5. ^ a b Jim Lobe, Asian-Americans lean toward Kerry Archived 19 September 2008 at the Library of Congress Web Archives, Asia Times. September 16, 2004.
  6. ^ Election results, America Votes 2004, CNN;
    ^ Exit Polls, CNN.
  7. ^ Hilburn, Matthew (2012-11-07). "Exit Polls Show Asian Americans Backed Obama by Wide Margin". Voice of America. Retrieved 2012-11-10.
  8. ^ McLaughlin, Seth (9 November 2014). "GOP makes big inroads with Asian voters in midterms". Washington Times. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  9. ^ a b Ramakrishnan, Karthick; Wong, Janelle; Lee, Taeku; Lee, Jennifer (2016-10-05). "Report on Registered Voters in the Fall 2016 National Asian American Survey" (PDF). National Asian American Survey. Retrieved 2016-10-05.
  10. ^ "Hajnal, Z.L. and Lee, T.: Why Americans Don't Join the Party: Race, Immigration, and the Failure (of Political Parties) to Engage the Electorate. (eBook and Paperback)". Retrieved 2016-10-22.
  11. ^ Lee, Taeku. "Asian Americans and the Electorate". American Political Science Association. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  12. ^ Feng, Rex (24 October 2008). "Who Is The Asian American Voter?". AsianWeek. Archived from the original on 9 February 2009. Retrieved 23 August 2009.
  13. ^ Jerry Large (26 September 2012). "Asian-American voters a force in November election". Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 16 January 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  14. ^ a b Karthick Ramakrishnan; Taeku Lee (8 October 2012). "Public Opinion Of a Growing Electorate: Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in 2012" (PDF). The National Asian American Survey. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
  15. ^ Matthew Hilburn (17 January 2013). "Asian-American Vote Reveals Nuances". Voice of America. Retrieved 25 January 2013. Chinese-Americans were the least likely to affiliate with a party. Magpantay suggested that only one third of Chinese-Americans belong to a party, compared with 71 percent among all Asian-Americans, because of the negative association of the word party with the Communist Party in China.
  16. ^ Chen, Edith Wen-Chu (2010). Grace J. Yoo (ed.). Encyclopedia of Asian American Issues Today, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. p. 722. ISBN 978-0-313-34751-1. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  17. ^ Cho, Wendy K. Tam (2002). "Tapping Motives and Dynamics behind Campaign Contributions: Insights from the Asian American Case". American Politics Research. SAGE Publications. 30 (4): 347–383. doi:10.1177/1532673X02030004001. Retrieved 19 March 2011.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Stewart David Ikeda. "Has the GOP Given Up on Asian Americans?". IMDiversity Inc. Archived from the original on 27 December 2010. Retrieved 22 February 2011.
  19. ^ "Inclusion, Not Exclusion" (PDF). Asian-American Voter Survey(AAVS). May 22, 2016. Retrieved September 29, 2016.
  20. ^ Edwards, Tom (20 July 2009). "Voter Turnout Increases by 5 Million in 2008 Presidential Election". U.S. Census Bureau News. U.S. Department of Commerce. Archived from the original on 2010-10-20. Retrieved 2010-07-26.

Further reading[edit]