COSTA MESA, Calif. – A new poll shows Indian Americans are most likely to vote for Joe Biden in what they see as a three-way contest between the former vice president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2020 presidential election. The online poll, conducted from Aug. 31 to Sept. 4, shows Chinese Americans to be the most undecided while Filipino voters veer toward Biden and Sanders.
The national survey of likely Asian American and Pacific Islander voters was released here Sept. 8 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts by the Super Pac, AAPI Victory Fund, at the AAPI Democratic Presidential Forum (see separate story).
While entrepreneur Andrew Yang is an overwhelmingly favorite for Chinese Americans on AAPI matters, Indian Americans did not pick a clear favorite, despite having two candidates in the race they could potentially identify with – Indian American Senator Kamala Harris and Tulsi Gabbard, who is a practicing Hindu. Among all Asian Americans, the duo fell behind Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang, who were in the fourth and fifth place, when voters were asked who they would like to see nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.
The registered voters, spread pretty evenly in terms of age, were categorical in saying that they would be “very unsatisfied” if Donald Trump were to be re-elected. It was not shocking, then, that given a scale of 1-10, 80% of them said “1,” indicating they “strongly oppose him.” Most identified themselves as Democrats, once again showing that the GOP has not made much inroads into the Asian American communities.
On policy, AAPI voters are similar to the larger Democratic electorate where health care and climate change are the two top issues of concern. They, however, rate education higher than Democratic Party voters as a whole. The affluent group also wants lawmakers to pay attention to taxes and spending – seemingly in an unselfish way. “The wealthiest demographic,” Varun Nikore, Indian American president of the AAPI Victory Fund, told India-West, “showed they stand for economic and social justice.” He was referring to the stunning 94% who said they support workers’ right to form unions.
Hate crime is a powerful issue with 88% “strongly” disapproving of the job Trump has done and 80% saying they're "much less likely" to vote for him because of this. Women and more educated voters are especially angry about his behavior in this area. Sixty percent of the voters were also deeply concerned about racial and religious profiling, according to the the polling done by Change Research.
On immigration, the results were mixed. Surprisingly, AAPI voters said they were not outraged by the decline in H-1B visas for tech workers. They were, however, unhappy about child separation at the border.
A foreign policy related question referred to the AAPI voter’s perception of leaders from six Asian nations. Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines had the worst ratings, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe being the most favorable one. Abe was followed by Moon Jae-in, president of Korea; followed by Narendra Modi of India. Unsurprisingly, Vietnam’s Nguyen Phu Trong, being the least known, was the one whom people had “no opinion” about.