A preliminary report on the involvement of Asian Americans in the last election showed a record turnout of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters at the polls.
This was attributed to the several issues that were deemed important to AAPIs. The issues included immigration, racial discrimination, health and environment.
Last Dec. 12, 2012, AAJC President and Executive Director Christene Chen and APIA Vote Executive Director and Karthick Ramakrishnan presided over a webinar on which the participation by AAPIs in the recent election was discussed.
Earlier, it was reported that AAPIs contributed 1.4 million votes to President Obama’s total popular vote margin of victory.
Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIA Vote) co-hosted the webinar, which was conducted in nine Asian languages in addition to English and Spanish.
It was pointed out during the webinar that the poll results had shown the strength and depth of AAPIA voters, 71 percent of whom elected President Obama to a second term.
The report stated that 2,785 interviews were conducted after the elections, and these showed an increase in voters enthusiasm and high level of support for programs such those for healthcare, education and economic recovery.
The report also mentioned an unprecedented number of undecided voters in the Asian community.
The other preliminary key findings mentioned in the reports include the following:
* The number of Asian American voters has been steadily growing in every presidential election and is projected to be close to three percent of all votes cast in the 2012 election.
* Seventy-one percent of Asian Americans voters in the November 2012 election voted for President Obama, while 28 percent voted for Governor Romney.
* Obama’s total popular vote margin of victory is estimated at 4.7 million. The AAPI votes contributed a net of 1.4 million votes to the margin. Without the AAPI vote, Obama’s popular vote margin would have been 3.3 million.
* In 2012, there was a significant increase in voter mobilization efforts by community organizations. Still, most Asian American voters (65 percent) claimed they were not contacted about the election.
* Those reached by political parties claimed the Democrats had more frequent contacts with them than by the Republicans.
* Issues relevant to Asian Americans were those on immigration, racial discrimination, health and environment. The smallest concern was on national security.
* Nearly 50 percent of registered Asian-American voters remain independent or undecided with respect to their party identification. This points to the possibility that many remain open to persuasion and outreach in future elections.
The APIA Vote report is deemed to be of great interest to members of the Michigan chapter of the National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA-Michigan) and the Filipino Political Association of Michigan (FAPAM), which were very much involved in last election’s “Get Out to Vote” campaign in the community.