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https://www.pewresearch.org/short-reads/2023/05/25/asian-voters-in-the-u-s-tend-to-be-democratic-but-vietnamese-american-voters-are-an-exception/

About half of Vietnamese American registered voters are Republicans or lean to the GOP – the highest share across the five largest Asian origin groups in the United States.

Overall, about six-in-ten Asian American registered voters (62%) identify as Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party, and 34% are Republicans or GOP leaners, according to a Pew Research Center survey of Asian adults conducted from July 2022 to January 2023.

Why is a majority of Vietnamese Republican as opposed to other Asian American groups in the United States? Is there a particular reason for this? I've noticed that most other Asian American groups tend to be left-leaning, except for the Vietnamese.

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    I have no facts to back it up as an answer, but in addition to what's in current answers (strong anti-communist stance at the time), based on many conversations with Vietnamese Americans in Southern California decades ago, I noticed they also had the view that Republicans were pro-business, pro-wealth, and anti-taxes, meaning you work hard, you get to keep your money and don't have to give it away.
    – uhoh
    Mar 9 at 1:40
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    I think its cause many fled comunism kind of like cubans among hyspanic are more toward the GOP. Mar 9 at 2:18

2 Answers 2

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Many Vietnamese-Americans were Anti-Communist refugees from South Vietnam who sought asylum in the USA after the Fall of Saigon in 1975. The influx of Vietnamese immigrants coincided with the presidential campaign of Ronald Reagan, whose Anti-Communist rhetoric appealed to these people who had escaped a Communist regime.

For similar reasons, Cuban-Americans vote Republican while other Hispanics vote Democrat.

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    Certainly, most Indian, Filipino, and Korean immigrants are more likely to be economic migrants rather than refugees, so they'll think differently about many issues (less sure about the Chinese who are also more right-wing). I wonder if the Indians, Koreans, etc typically arrived more recently than the Vietnamese (assuming the Vietnamese came over in late 70s/early 80s), and if that had an effect - being a recent immigrant may make you more sympathetic to immigrants.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 8 at 17:38
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    I can't help but note the apparent parallel with Cuban-American gusanos.
    – Brian Z
    Mar 8 at 20:48
  • @StuartF: Looking at OP's linked article, it's interesting that Chinese-Americans are the second-most-red Asian voting bloc, despite Trump being vocally anti-China.
    – dan04
    Mar 8 at 21:11
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    @dan04 Being anti-china is not the same thing as being anti-chinese, a distinction often lost with people who equate race with ideology, such as the OP.
    – uberhaxed
    Mar 9 at 1:16
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    @dan04 Chinese is not at all the same thing as coming from China. Chinese-Americans come from multiple countries, with very different governments and history. Basically, if you're not from China, you're from a country that's has or had issues with China. Many Taiwanese-Americans are strongly against mainland China. Similarly, a very significant population of Chinese-Americans are from Hong Kong, which has had tensions with China and communism throughout its history. Singapore and Malaysia, especially, also had communism problems and are wary of China's expanding influence in the region.
    – user71659
    Mar 9 at 3:54
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There's a possible indirect cause via college education. Probably accounts for some but not all of what we're seeing in the Q.

The chart below shows College education vs national origin, for 25+ age group. A little dated, but noteworthy.

a

Source: statista.com

College education is a decent correlate to political alignment in the US. Below is from the Pew Research report linked in the Question. Shown for subpopulation of Asian Americans, in 2023. Blue is Democrat.

b

Source: Pew Research

UPDATE- I was also curious about age. @ohwilleke pointed to relevalt crosstabs [Pew Research]. Age breakdown within Vietnamese subpopulation does not differ significantly from others, and is nearly identical to Chinese. Percentage with US citizenship, among those who immigrated, is somewhat higher than other ethnicities.

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