3

On many issues from climate change to gun control, Asian Americans are the most likely to take left wing positions. In addition compared with the rest of the population, even when excluding White individuals, they are less religious, more likely to live in urban areas, and more likely to hold college degrees -- all characteristics that favor Democrats. And on top of that, they are considered a minority group.

It surprises me after thinking about this that Democrats only get about 2/3 of support from this group despite their policy positions and having far more favorable demographics compared with the rest of the nonwhite demographic in the USA, which breaks for Democrats by a roughly 3-1 margin. Why do Republicans do (relatively) well with Asian Americans despite having a unique combination of demographic traits that are generally poor for Republicans?

13
  • 3
    fivethirtyeight.com/features/… -- here's an article on the subject Oct 22 '21 at 14:41
  • 13
    It’s worth noting that Asian Americans are not a uniform voting bloc and this is essential to any answer.
    – Panda
    Oct 22 '21 at 15:00
  • 8
    Hidden in your text is that non-Whites vote for Democrats "roughly [75%]" of the time but Democrats get "about [68%]" of the vote of Asian Americans. IMO, 7% can be pretty well covered by two "roughly"s. What are the actual figures? If it's 73-70%, that's not a very big difference. Oct 22 '21 at 17:38
  • 6
    @WS2 - Somali people are generally considered African.... I mean, yes, it is relatively far to the east, but it is part of the African continental landmass, even if it does have its own mini-plate, and it is rather far from the Indian and Eurasian plates. Politically, it is a member of the African Union.
    – Obie 2.0
    Oct 23 '21 at 18:13
  • 5
    @JamesK My impression from visits to the US, particularly the west coast, is that when people say "Asian" they mean people of Chinese, Japanese or Korean descent. And it would not surprise me in the least if a third of them vote for right-wing parties - since many of them tend to be professionally and financially elite. Some Indians may be in this category too. I think "Asian" tends to encompass, in many American minds, a prosperous group. Other Asians are probably planted with North Africans, Syrians etc as "persons of colour".
    – WS2
    Oct 24 '21 at 20:03
10

As a bloc, "Asian Americans" have about as much in common as "People with first name starting in 'J'". The socially conservative Pakistani immigrant taxi driver has no political connection to the Korean millenial Californian computer programmer, or her Anti-communist grandfather, or ...

So why do Republicans get more support among Asian Americans? There are socially and economically conservative Asian Americans. The Democrat advantage among Asian Americans is typical of ethnic skews relative to the population outside of the USA. This is normal politics: the platform of the Republican party aligns with the view of some Asian Americans, and so they vote Republican. There is nothing exceptional about this.

1
  • 1
    In addition to this, many of these people (or their parents or grandparents) arrived as refugees from some quite nasty communist regimes. For these people the Republican use of "socialist" as bogey-word for Democratic policies has real power because they remember what living under a "socialist" government was like. Oct 26 '21 at 16:43
1

First, you need to remember that - as has been pointed out many, many times - politics can't be understood on a simple one-dimensional axis, whether it's left-right, Democrat-Republican, or whatever.

My guess is that it's due to one particular difference between Democrat and Republican positions (in general). Democrats tend to look for support from the losers in society, and see most people in their voter base as victims of society who need to be helped by government. Republicans (again, in general, and leaving out the Trumpists) tend to look for support from the winners: those who've suceeded, or expect to succeed, largely through their own efforts. Republicans also position themselves as the party that wants successful individuals to keep the rewards of their success.

Culturally, Asian-Americans tend to belong to the latter group. But it's a trend that I think is seen in all ethnic groups, though I can find no actual data. (Probably due to my lack of Google-fu :-))

0
-1

(Warning, narrowed down to East Asians)

I think that there are a few factors that work in favour of Republicans among East Asians.

  1. Historically, there used to be a clear divide on economic issues between the two parties. And there is a limited logic for a more well off group to vote for higher taxes for themselves and transferring their wealth to someone else.

  2. You mention "gun control". Yes, if you look at how Asians arrange Asian countries, they indeed are not fond of people running around with AR-15. They prefer strong state, that mercilessly deals with criminals. (death penalty in the most developed Asian countries, in case of Singapore there is also flogging for illegal immigrants) Propaganda of Peoples Republic of China was happy to use footage from BLM riots as evidence how awful and anarchic Western democracy is. So that's not the target audience for defund the police, keeping blind eye to shoplifting or police not defending business from rioters.

  3. Education and "racial justice", especially when it means reducing standards for kids. Or when "equity" means slaughtering programs for gifted students where Asians are even more overrepresented than Whites.

  4. Racial policies (like in case of university admission) which in name of diversity mean informal quotas on universities. It hurts them even more than Whites in admission and they culturally put really high emphasis on education.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .