Asian American and Pacific Islands American conservatism in the United States

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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]



  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]