Asian American Decisions Posts

Facing Fraud or Saving Face?

Survey of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 50 Years and Older on Fraud and Scams

by (originally posted at AARP Research)

Older Americans are particularly vulnerable as targets of certain kinds of fraud; and frauds and scams affect diverse populations in distinct ways. Yet, there is relatively little data about the fraud experiences of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population. AARP commissioned a survey to assess the extent that AAPIs age 50 and older are aware of and affected by different types of fraud; and to better understand if some AAPIs are especially likely to be hit by frauds and scams.

Key findings include the following:

  • Seventy-two percent (72%) of AAPIs age 50-plus and their families have been targets of fraud.
  • Thirty-nine percent (39%) of AAPIs age 50-plus and their families have been victims of fraud.
  • One in three victims of fraud did not talk to anyone about the fraudulent incident.
  • Thirty-three percent (33%) of victims lost money, costing them $15,000 on average.
  • Seventy-two percent (72%) of fraud victims experienced an emotional, mental or physical outcome.

The survey finds high rates of exposure to fraud offers and experience with financial fraud among AAPIs age 50-plus and their families. Exposure to fraud carries not only financial costs, but also costs to the physical and mental health of AAPIs. These non-financial costs of being victimized by fraud are far more common than dollar losses and occur even when there is no quantifiable financial cost. In addition, one in three fraud vicitims did not talk to anyone about the incident and of those who did, fewer than half formally reported it to an agency or law enforcement office.

This data was collected via a telephone survey concerning consumer fraud and scams conducted by Asian American Decisions on behalf of AARP. The national sample of Asian American and Pacific Islanders age 50-plus included a total of 1,120 interviews by telephone between Oct. 2 and Nov. 6, 2017. Telephone interviewing was conducted in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, and Korean. Data were weighted to reflect the AAPI 50-plus population.  For more information contact Angela Houghton at [email protected].

Learn More about This Survey

Suggested Citation: Houghton, Angela. Facing Fraud or Saving Face? A Survey of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders 50 Years and Older on Fraud and Scams. Washington, DC: AARP Research, January 2018.

Asian American Decisions releases 2014 election eve poll results

In 2014 Asian American Decisions interviewed 1,150 Asian American and Pacific Islander voters in advance of the November 2014 election.  The survey provides an important contrast to the National Exit Poll which only interviewed 304 total Asian Americans.  The Asian American Decisions poll was implemented by telephone to landline and cellphones, using live callers and available in six different languages, depending on the preference of the respondent.  The project was overseen by Professor Taeku Lee, a leading national expert in the study of Asian American voters, who is the Managing Director of Asian American Decisions.


Why Eric Cantor really lost and what it means for GOP outreach to Asian Voters

Within minutes of Eric Cantor’s primary loss dozens of knee-jerk reactions in the national media called the upset bad news for immigration reform.  Let’s be clear – Eric Cantor was never a friend of immigration reform, nor was he a champion of GOP outreach to Latinos.  Cantor was more closely aligned with the immigration obstructionist in the House than those serious about bipartisan reform. While his opponent, David Brat does hold very strong anti-immigrant policy views, Cantor’s loss had almost nothing to do with immigration reform.  Cantor lost because of his strong affiliation with establishment House Republicans, as a long time DC insider, and his Republican constituents frustration over the utter inability for House leadership to move any mainstream agenda forward.  His loss was about anti-incumbent, anti-DC sentiments that were most famous in the 2010 midterms, but still linger today.

Cantor’s loss and Brat’s anti-immigrant positioning provide an opportunity to assess exactly what the now overly-analyzed primary election for Virginia’s 7th district means for immigration reform and 2014.  According to our extensive review of the immigration issue we offer three critical take-aways from the Cantor loss:

1) Anti-Immigrant candidates continue to lose in Virginia general elections (e.g. Ken Cuccinelli).

2) Pro-immigration reform Republicans win more primaries than they lose.

3) As the GOP continues to promote anti-immigrant candidates like Brat they only further alienate Latino and Asian voters.

1) Anti-Immigrant candidates continue to lose in Virginia general elections.  Before people read too deep into Brat’s primary win, check back to the 2013 election for Governor of Virginia in which Republican Ken Cuccinelli lost a close election in large part due to his anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies.  The year before that, Mitt Romney lost the swing state of Virginia while running on his infamous “self-deport” and veto the DREAM Act platform.  Also in 2012, Republican George Allen who wanted to make English the official language and repeal birthright citizenship to U.S. born kids, lost his Senate bid to Tim Kaine who staked out a clear pro-immigration reform stance.  That’s 0 for 3 for the last three Republicans who tried to win a Virginia election on an anti-immigrant record.

2) Pro-immigration reform Republicans win more primaries than they lose. On the same day that Cantor lost, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham easily won his primary in conservative South Carolina with 57% of the vote.  His closest challenger – who attacked him for supporting immigration reform – won just 15% of the primary vote.  Graham you will recall was a co-sponsor of the Gang of 8 immigration reform bill that passed the U.S. Senate.  Despite his very strong support for immigration reform, Graham easily prevailed in his primary.  In Ohio’s 14th district, Matt Lynch campaigned on a strict anti-immigrant platform and called David Joyce too moderate on immigration, but the moderate candidate Joyce easily defeated the anti-immigrant candidate Lynch.  In Georgia’s U.S. Senate primary, the most anti-immigrant candidate in the race, Paul Broun, ended up with less than 10% of the Republican vote, losing to businessman David Perdue. In California’s 10th district, Republican Jeff Denham who has co-sponsored immigration reform legislation in the House didn’t even draw a Republican challenger.

3) As the GOP continues to promote anti-immigrant candidates like Brat they only further alienate Latino and Asian voters.  Perhaps the most critical lesson of Cantor’s loss is for the GOP itself.  A Latino Decisions poll released June 4, 2014 finds that Latino voters are still highly movable when it comes to Republicans and immigration.  61% of Latino voters said that they would be willing to give the GOP a second chance and hear them out on all the issues if the GOP support comprehensive immigration reform.  Not bad.  However, if the GOP blocks a vote on immigration reform in the House, 74% of Latino voters say they will have an even less favorable view towards the Republican party overall.  And, 63% of Latinos say that anti-immigrant statements from individual Republicans (say, perhaps David Brat), make them look less favorably on the Republican party as a whole.  And it’s not just Latino voters who have been turned off by Republicans anti-immigrant rhetoric, Asian voters also saying they are less favorable towards Republicans.  A Latino Decisions election eve poll in Virginia among Latino and Asian voters in the 2013 gubernatorial election found a majority of both Latinos and Asians agreed that Cuccinelli’s statements about immigrants were a driving factor in their vote against him, and it had spillover effects, making both Latinos and Asians less likely to support Republicans overall.

If the GOP does not correct course on the immigration issue and their Latino outreach efforts, the Mitt Romney debacle of 2012 will be seen as the glory days.  They could very realistically sink to less than 20% of the Latino vote in 2014 and 2016 if they follow the path of anti-immigrant candidates.  Sharron Angle and her 10% of the Latino vote is not a model the GOP wants to replicate.

The 2014 House Elections and Comprehensive Immigration Reform Revisited

From the perspective of most Latino voters, the actions of the House Republicans have made a bad situation worse. House Republicans will bear the blunt of the blame if comprehensive immigration reform does not pass. Their dithering also creates an opportunity for President Obama to take administrative action and in so doing, allow the Democrats to claim credit for responding to the single most important issue facing the Latino community. Moreover, by only allowing votes on enforcement related legislation, the most vulnerable House Republican incumbents will be running for reelection with a record of immigration votes that are antithetical to the policies favored by the vast majority of Latino voters.

Still, how these dynamics play out next November remains an open question. Indeed, last summer we noted that although the Latino influence districts that we identified provide contexts where immigration politics could be deterministic, for immigration to matter, a number of factors have to align.

First, Latino voters have to turnout next November. To be sure, Latino turnout lags behind many other demographic groups. However, the relative youth of the Latino population and its growth means that the size of the Latino population will be larger in every one of the districts that we identified (using 2010 US Census data) and there may be even more districts where Latinos are positioned to effect outcomes come November. Add to this the fact that the GOP’s immigration tactics are alienating other fast growing voting blocs such as Asian Americans and one point is clear: the 2014 midterm election will have the largest share of minority and non-white voters in the country’s history and these voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the Republican’s immigration politics and policies.

Second, while voter turnout in a midterm election declines significantly (typically, 60% turnout in presidential election as compared to 40% in midterms), it declines for all voters. As a consequence, marginal decreases of one group relative to other groups can have outsized effects. The last midterm election offers anecdotal evidence consistent with this point. In Nevada, the Latino share of the 2010 electorate was the same as it was during the 2008 presidential election (it increased an additional three percentage points in 2012). The anti-immigration rhetoric and campaign tactics of Sharron Angle, the Republican US Senate candidate, mobilized many of these voters with the end result being 90% of Latinos voted for Harry Reid. It is also worth noting that many prognosticators and pundits predicted Reid’s defeat largely because they expected Latinos to stay home.

Third and perhaps most importantly, the competitiveness of a race in November is shaped by the quality of the opposition that emerges in the spring and summer. The failure of the out-party to recruit and fund a challenger who is capable of running a strong campaign means that incumbents who might otherwise look vulnerable may easily win. Conversely, the emergence of a surprisingly strong challenger or the retirement of an incumbent can put districts that appeared safe for one party into play in the fall. Indeed, in the last few months two California House Republicans (Gary Miller and Buck McKeon) representing tier one and tier two districts announced their retirements, further improving the Democrats’ chances in those districts.

The bottom line when it comes to House elections, where incumbent reelection rates typically exceed 90%, is that you “can’t beat somebody with nobody.” To this end, in the coming months as primary season wanes and the fall campaigns begin in earnest, Latino Decisions will be providing regular updates on the state of play in the Democratically and Republican held tier one and tier two districts with a specific focus on assessing the quality of the challengers and these candidates’ access to resources so that you know which races will matter in November. So stay tuned, much more to come.

Narrow Margin in Virginia Signals Asian and Latino Influence, Virginia DREAM Act and GOP Fate Hang in the Balance

Latino Decisions election eve polling shows 66% of Hispanics and 63% of Asian Americans voted for Governor-Elect Terry McAuliffe. More specifically, an estimated 95,500 Hispanic and 51,000 Asian-Americans voted in the Virginia election, meaning that Asian and Hispanic voters provided a combined 95,160 votes for McAuliffe, contributing heavily to his slim 56,494 victory margin.

Fig 1 XMV

As provisional ballots continue to be counted, only 164 votes separate apparent Attorney General-Elect Mark Herring and his Republican opponent Mark Obenshain. Latino and Asian-American voters rejected Obenshain as soundly as they did Republican candidate for Governor Ken Cuccinelli. With a formal recount in the AG’s race a near certainty, the balance of power in the Virginia State Senate going into 2014 hangs in the balance. Democrat Ralph Northam’s decisive win over Republican E.W. Jackson in the Lieutenant Governor’s race gives Democrats a tie-breaking vote in the Virginia state senate, where Democrats and Republicans each hold twenty seats. In the legislature’s lower chamber however, Republicans hold a firm super-majority, 67 out of 100 seats. Asian American and Latino voters were dramatically more supportive of Democratic candidates all of these contests.

Fig 2 XMV

With a bi-partisan coalition of Delegates gearing up to re-introduce the Virginia DREAM Act early next year in the Republican-led House of Delegates, and McAuliffe’s public expression of support for the bill, partisan control of the Senate may prove a critical lynch-pin to the bill’s success. The vast majority of Virginia voters support such a law, and immigration weighed heavily in vote choices for Latino and Asian voters in particular.

Fig 2

Terry McAuliffe’s support for the Virginia DREAM Act, which he promoted during visits colleges and universities in the state, resonates with Virginia’s younger Asian and Latino electorates. Among Asian and Hispanic voters in the 18 -39 demographic, McAuliffe’s support for a pathway to citizenship and the DREAM Act made 64 percent of young Asian and 65 percent of young Latino voters more enthusiastic about his candidacy, compared to 38 percent of middle-aged Asian and 57 percent of middle-aged Latino voters.

Fig 3 XMV

Candidate and policy preferences among Virginia’s young Hispanic and Asian voters signal things to come. The demographic changes evolving in the Virginia electorate make the commonwealth a sort of bellweather for Hispanic influence in elections going forward. Compared to all other states, Virginia has the highest college degree attainment rate among Hispanics; 25% in the state compared to the group national average of 13%. Virginia’s young Hispanic voters were among the most enthusiastic about McAuliffe’s stance on immigration issues. Suggestive evidence that many young Hispanic voters are on college campuses comes by way of their support for Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Robert Sarvis. Consistent with our understanding of college student affinity for Libertarians, 10 percent of Latino voters aged 18-39 voted for Sarvis, his largest pocket of demographic support measured.

Fig 4 XMV

Republicans interested in winning statewide office must contend with the demographic and political realities that surfaced in the Virginia election: more Latinos are going to college, Cuccinelli’s showing with young Hispanic and Asian voters was especially disastrous (19% and 20% respectively), and the eligible non-white share of the electorates becomes bigger by the day. Whether the GOP embraces, or once again rejects the Virginia DREAM Act in the upcoming state legislative session will be good indicator of whether the party will seal their fate with Virginia’s fastest-growing segments in the electorate, or whether they can salvage what is left of their vanishing opportunities.

Polling Election Results Show Anti-Immigrant Candidates Face Long Odds Given Demographic Realities

Virginia and New Jersey Offer Clear Lesson for National GOP in 2014 and Beyond on Immigration

Press Release originally posted at America’s Voice

Washington, DC – An election-eve poll of extremely likely Latino and Asian voters in Virginia, conducted by Latino Decisions and sponsored by America’s Voice and People For the American Way (PFAW), shows that what candidates say and do on immigration has a direct impact on voter perception of the two parties and the results of close elections.  When viewing the Republicans’ loss in Virginia alongside the Party’s successes in New Jersey, it’s clear that winning candidates in states with diverse electorates must find a way to appeal to the growing Latino and Asian electorates through issues like immigration.

According to Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University and Co-Founder of Latino Decisions, “Like recent GOP presidential candidates, those seeking the Virginia’s governorship need to address the new demographic reality in the US and the Commonwealth.  Cuccinelli got 89% of his votes from whites and that’s not going to cut it in the new American electorate. The demography is relentless.”

Added Xavier Medina Vidal, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech, “Exit poll data from last night virtually ignored a growing and important feature of the Virginia’s present and future electorate. Asian and Hispanic voters in Virginia, segments of the electorate that McAuliffe embraced and Cuccinelli and the Tea Party pushed away, sent a signal to the national GOP that their votes might be up for grabs if they are able to reign in the Tea Party and dial down the pessimism and obstructionism.”

Groups on the ground have been working tirelessly over the last several months to make contact with Virginia’s Latino and Asian voters and encourage them to turn voters out to the polls.  The NCLR Action Fund, in partnership with the League of United Latin America, made over 75,000 calls and reached out to almost 30,000 households to educate Hispanic voters about both candidates’ immigration positions.  People for the American Way also devoted significant resources to Latino outreach in Virginia, investing in Spanish-language ads to highlight Ken Cuccinelli’s extremist immigration views.

Said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way, “If Republicans continue their strategy of alienating large groups of Americans, they will continue their losing streak at the polls. Ken Cuccinelli’s performance among Latinos is the perfect example of this.”

In contrast to Virginia, results in New Jersey’s gubernatorial race show that by embracing pro-immigrant policies and prioritizing Latino outreach, Republican candidates can compete for and win Latino voters.  Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) went from losing Latino voters by a 65%-32% margin to Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009 exit polls to winning Latino voters outright, (51%-45% per network exit polls) as part of his victory over Democratic opponent Barbara Buono.

Said Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “This is truly the tale of two candidates.  In Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli’s anti-Latino and anti-immigrant statements and positions led him to lose big with Latinos and Asian-American voters.  In New Jersey, Chris Christie’s outreach and pro-immigrant positions led him to win a majority of Latino voters.  The national GOP should heed the lessons of Virginia and New Jersey, starting with whether to pass immigration reform or block it: turn your back on communities that closely identify with the immigrant experience and you will lose; extend a sincere welcome – in tone and policy – and you can win.”

Below are some of the key takeaways from Tuesday’s election results and what this means heading into 2014 and beyond (crosstabs of the poll results are available here, toplines  available here).

In Virginia, Ken Cuccinelli had Mitt-Romney-like numbers among Latino and Asian voters, in large part due to his anti-immigrant record: Virginia Latino voters supported Terry McAuliffe over Ken Cuccinelli by a 66%-29% margin, while Asian voters supported McAuliffe by a 63%-34% margin.  By comparison, in Latino Decisions’ 2012 Election Eve polling in Virginia, Latinos supported President Obama over Mitt Romney by a 66%-31% margin (Asian voters supported Obama over Romney by a 66%-32% margin in 2012, per network exit polls).

Cuccinelli’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and record won him few friends among Virginia’s Latino and Asian voters – this Washington Post story features testimonials from Latino voters about the importance and personal lens through which many Latino and Asian voters view the immigration debate. The Latino Decisions election eve poll found that a strong majority of Latinos and Asians were less enthusiastic about Cuccinelli after hearing a range of his anti-immigrant statements and positions and that the majority of Virginia’s Latino voters – 59% – reported knowing an undocumented immigrant.

In New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie leaned into immigration reform and Latino outreach and dramatically improved his performance among Latinos compared to 2009. Gov. Christie supports immigration reform with citizenship, reversed course and publicly endorsed the New Jersey Dream Act, and spent heavily on Spanish language TV, radio, and mail.  This is a major reason Gov. Christie went from losing Latino voters by a 65%-32% margin to Gov. Jon Corzine in 2009 per exit polls to winning Latino voters outright, 51%-45%, against Democratic nominee Barbara Buono, per 2013 network exit polls.  Compared to 2009, Christie improved his performance among Latino voters by 59%! See here for more on the immigration reform record and rhetoric of Chris Christie.

It will be increasingly difficult for Republicans to win states like New Jersey or Virginia – or many other elections nationwide – by following the Cuccinelli model instead of the Christie model.  As The Fix political team at the Washington Post noted, the non-white electorate in Virginia grew from 22% in 2009 to 28% in 2013 gubernatorial race, assessing that for the national Republican Party, “Christie’s win, contrasted with Cuccinelli’s loss, could hardly provide a starker contrast for the GOP and a clearer message about how it wins in the future.”

Concluded Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and longtime civil rights and labor activist, “The results and level of turnout amongst Latinos certainty give us the map of the work we have to do in the future.  We know that Republicans have announced that they will spend 10 million dollars in outreach to Latino voters, and I hope that what happened in New Jersey will kind of be some sort of template for them. What happened in New Jersey and Virginia should give House leadership a lot of impetus to bring immigration reform to the floor for a vote.”


New Race Politics and the Virginia Election

Virginia’s election results were a deep disappointment for Republicans who have long been competitive—even dominant—in this Southern state.  Terry McAuliffe defeated Ken Cuccinelli 48%-45%, and the margin was greater in the Lt. Governor’s race.  A closely contested Attorney General’s race is too close to call.

As we reported last night, Latino Decisions 2013 Election Eve poll in Virginia (complete slide decktopline results and full cross tabs), provided stark evidence of the demographic train-wreck that has beset the GOP in its current incarnation.  While the exit polls suggest that Cuccinelli carried whites by a sizable 56%-36% margin (and 58%-33% among white men!), the story of the election is, as it was in 2012, a demographic one.

VA Fig 1

Latino Decisions estimates that Democrat Terry McAuliffe outpaced his GOP opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, by 37 percentage points among Latinos and 29 percentage points among Asian Americans, receiving 66% of Latino vote and 63% of Asian American vote. Added to the exit poll estimates of African American vote (90%-8% favoring McAuliffe), it is abundantly clear that the GOP has a demographic problem of immense proportions.

VA Fig 4

In our posts yesterday, we laid bare how important immigration was to Latino and Asian American voters and illustrated, with a split-sample design, how much anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies mobilized support for McAuliffe.

Fig 3

Immigration mattered—a great deal—to Latino and Asian voters making choices and they were very put off by the policies and language used by the Attorney General.  Moreover, it is worth noting that over 90,000 black immigrant naturalized citizens live in the Commonwealth, suggesting that other key voting blocs might have found immigration a critical issue.

Looking at the exit polls with respect to white non-Hispanic voters, it is easy to see how critical white voters have become to GOP candidates incapable of reaching into other populations.  White voters, estimated at 72% of the electorate, gave 56% of their ballots to the GOP nominees.  White voters, then, were responsible for 40.3% of Cuccinelli’s 45.5% of the vote…or 89% of all his votes won.  As the white electorate grows smaller as a share of the total, the necessary margin among whites will have to grow substantially for the GOP to stay competitive in Virginia.

Can that happen?  Perhaps, but we think it is unlikely with candidates like Ken Cuccinelli.  Cuccinelli underperformed previous GOP nominee Gov. Bob McDonnell by 11 percentage points.  Four of those went to McAuliffe and the rest, presumably, to the Libertarian Rob Sarvis.  For those willing to embrace a whites-only approach, this may give them false hope that a different candidate could have won on the strength of white vote alone so in four years things will be different.  But that is wrong on two fronts.  First, we would be foolish to assume that the white share of the electorate will be the same in the next election or the one after that.  In this election, whites were 72% of the total turned out electorate, down 7% from the 79% they were four years ago.  What share of the electorate will whites be in 2017?

Second, and perhaps more importantly, Cuccinelli does not appear to be a radical departure from much of his party’s base.  Among GOP identifiers, he held on to 92% of the voters.  It was among independents—where exit polls show him under-performing McDonnell by 19 percentage points—where white voters really abandoned the GOP nominee.  We should not assume that the only voters put off by this particular brand of conservatism are voters of color.  In political science research examining the political effects of anti-immigrant politics in California, the partisan effects were visible not only among minority voters but also among moderate whites.  There is every reason to expect that among moderate independents in the Northern Virginia DC suburbs, disproportionately educated voters, the same effect will occur, and the votes last night are consistent with this.

The demography is relentless and immigration remains a loser for GOP candidates in diverse electorates.

See more on the 2013 Virginia Election Eve Poll: slide decktopline results and full cross tabs.

Democrats Crush Republicans Among Latino and Asian American Voters in Virginia

With polls closed across the Commonwealth of Virginia, Latino Decisions can release the results of our 2013 Virginia Election Eve Survey of Latino and Asian American voters, commissioned by America’s Voice and the People For the American Way.  The poll finds a staggering margin of victory for Democrats within these two rapidly growing segments of the American electorate.

Complete topline results and full cross tabs.

Gubernatorial Race

Democrat Terry McAuliffe out paced his GOP opponent, Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, by a staggering 37-point margin.  Latino Decisions estimates McAuliffe received 66% of the Latino vote, compared with 29% for Ken Cuccinelli. Among Asian Americans, McAuliffe’s margin was 29 percentage points.

VA Fig 1

We estimate that Asian American voters gave the Democrat 63% of their vote, compared with 34% for the GOP nominee. McAuliffe’s performance among Latinos was even better than President Obama’s vote share (as estimated by exit polls) in 2008 (65%) and 2012 (64%).  By contrast, Ken Cuccinelli underperformed both John McCain (34%) and Mitt Romney (33%) in the state.

Attorney General’s Race

In the race to succeed Cuccinelli as Attorney General, the Democratic margin was even greater.  Latino Decisions estimates that Mark Herring, the Democratic nominee, out polled Mark Obenshain among Latinos by an even more impressive 40-point margin.  We estimate Herring with 69% of the Latino vote, compared with Obenshain’s 29%.

VA Fig 2

Among Asian Americans, the margin was 24 percentage points.  Latino Decisions estimates that Mark Herring received 61% of the Asian American vote while Obenshain received 37%. The importance of the minority vote is even greater in this race, widely seen as more hotly contested than that for Governor.

House of Delegates

And how about in the races for the Virginia House?  Latino Decisions estimates that Democrats out-polled Republicans among Latinos 65% to 32%, a 33-point margin, while among Asian Americans, Democrats led 58% to 42% for the GOP.

VA Fig 3

The Importance of Immigration

Voters from both immigrant-rich ethnic communities indicated the importance of immigration to their vote choices.  A majority of Latino voters—53%–indicated that immigration was one of the, if not the, most important issue in determining their vote.  Perhaps more surprising, among Asian American voters, 46% identified immigration as one of the issues most driving their voting decisions.  Only 18% of Latinos and 24% of Asian Americans said immigration did not affect their vote.

VA Fig 4

A Note about Asian American Voters

In 1992, when McAuliffe’s mentor Bill Clinton was elected to the presidency, he received only 31% of the Asian American vote nationally.  Last year, Barack Obama received 73% of the Asian vote nationally and 66% in Virginia.  This shift of Asian American voters from super-majority Republican to super-majority Democratic, in just one generation, is reflected again in tonight’s vote.

Complete topline results and full cross tabs.

About the Poll/Methodology

Latino Decisions interviewed 400 Latino voters and 400 Asian American voters participating in the Virginia 2013 general election. Voters were contacted by landline and cell phone between November 1- November 4. Latino respondents had the option to take the survey in English or Spanish and Asian American respondents had the option to take the survey in English, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog, or Vietnamese, at their choosing. Initial sampling was based on Latinos and Asian Americans who had voted in the 2009 election, or newer registrants who voted in both the 2010 and 2012 general elections. To take the survey, respondents were asked if they had already voted early or by absentee ballot, or if not, if they were certain to vote in the Nov 5 election. Each ethnic group sample carries a margin of error of +/- 4.9%.

New Poll: Virginia’s Latino and Asian Voters Weigh In On Gubernatorial Race & Immigration Reform

For immediate release: November 4, 2013

Contact: Katy Green, 650.464.1545

Data Reveals How Virginia Could Be Test Case for the National GOP in 2014 and Beyond

****Latino and Asian Election Eve Poll in Virginia****

***TUES 11/5 Poll Release in Two Parts***

**WED 11/6 Webinar at 12pm ET**

Washington, DC – With Election Day in Virginia tomorrow, and the gubernatorial candidates’ positioning on immigration reform on stark display, a new election-eve poll will reveal how Virginia’s changing demographics are also changing the state’s politics.  The Virginia race could be a sign of things to come for the GOP in 2014 when it comes to the politics of immigration.

The election-eve poll of extremely likely voters, conducted by Latino Decisions and sponsored by America’s Voice and People For the American Way (PFAW), assesses voters’ attitudes about the current immigration debate and how it impacts their political decisions.

On Tuesday, Election Day, data on voters’ attitudes on key immigration policy issues will be released on a rolling basis. Latino Decisions, PFAW, and AV will first release the issue questions from this poll of 400 Asian and 400 Latino “extremely likely” voters in Virginia. Candidate selection data will also be available to reporters under embargo until 7pm Eastern if requested.  The data will then be made public as the polls close in Virginia that night. 

The next day, Wednesday, November 6th at 12pm ET, pollsters, civic engagement leaders and immigration experts will then analyze the full results on a press call/webinar.

If you are a member of the news media and would like to receive an embargoed copy of the gubernatorial race match-up results, please email Katy Green ([email protected]).

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s hardline immigration positions, including his past statements comparing immigrants to rats and his labeling of notorious anti-immigrant Rep. Steve King (R-IA) as his “favorite” congressman, have alienated a large swath of Latino, Asian, and immigrant voters who are increasingly influential in Virginia and nationally. In contrast, Democrat Terry McAuliffe has spent significant campaign resources on Hispanic outreach and even started a “Latinos con Terry” committee. On Wednesday, speakers will explain how the changing demographics and politics in Virginia could serve as a warning flag for the Republican Party in 2014 and beyond.

What: Election Day VA Poll Release (11/5) and Post-Election Webinar (noon 11/6)

How: to receive embargoed results on Tuesday, 11/5: email [email protected]

Participate: in the noon Eastern press call/webinar on 11/6) Call 1-866-952-7534; Passcode: VIRGINIA and follow the presentation here: (meeting ID: VIRGINIA, entry code: ATTEND)

Press Call Speakers:

Gary Segura, Professor of American Politics and Chair of Chicano/a Studies, Stanford University; Principal, Latino Decisions

Xavier Medina Vidal, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Virginia Tech

Dolores Huerta, Co-Founder of the United Farm Workers Union and longtime civil rights and labor activist

Michael Keegan, President, People For the American Way

Frank Sharry, Executive Director, America’s Voice

Census 2012 vote data highlight dramatic shift in racial diversity of American electorate

New data from the November 2012 U.S. Census Current Population Survey (CPS) reveals a major shift in the U.S. voting population, with the number of White, non-Hispanic voters declining by more than 2 million from 2008 to 2012.  In contrast, the number of Latino, African American and Asian American voters increased by a combined 3.7 million in just 4 years.  During the run up to the 2012 election many notable pollsters and pundits failed to observe the changing demographics of the American electorate, with some such as Gallup forecasting as many as 80% of all voters would be White, after which noted Political Scientist Alan Abromowitz predicted that, “Gallup’s likely voter sample appears to be substantially under-representing non-white voters,” two weeks before election day. Building on the analysis by Abramowitz, Latino Decisions posted a lengthy report in October 2012 about how most polls were missing the growing Latino electorate.

Now that the Census has released its official estimates the data are clear: the Latino, Black and Asian vote are growing at a historic pace, and for the first time in history the raw number of White votes declined from one election to the next.  These changes are not unique to 2012, but part of a larger and irreversible trend in American politics in which the electorate is becoming increasingly diverse.

From 2008 to 2012 the total number of votes cast among White, non-Hispanics changed from 100,042,000 to 98,041,000, a net drop of 2 million votes.  In contrast the number of Latino voters increased from 9,745,000 in 2008 to 11,188,000 in 2012, a net increase of 1.4 million and African American votes increased even more by nearly 1.7 million.  Asian American voters, which received considerable notice in 2012 for the first time grew by over half a million from 3,357,000 to 3,904,000.  In total, nearly 3.7 million more minority votes were cast in 2012, while White votes dropped by 2 million.


The changes are even more dramatic comparing 2004 to 2012.  Although White votes increased slightly from 2004 to 2008, across eight years from 2004 to 2012, the number of Whites voting declined by 1.5 million. However the number of Black voters grew by almost 3.8 million in eight years, while the number of Latino voters grew by 3.6 million.  Asian Americans added 1.1 million voters, and combined, there were a staggering 8.5 million more minority voters in 2012 than in 2004.  While White voters are declining – a group Republicans won in both 2008 and 2012 by an average 57-41 in both years – Minority voters are growing by over 8 million – a group that Obama won in both 2008 and 2012 by an average 81-19 in both years.


Beyond 2012

The trends identified in the November 2012 U.S. Census CPS will continue for some time to come.  Because of the comparatively young age of Latinos, Blacks, and Asians the minority population will only continue to increase as part of the eligible, and voting population.  On the other hand, White, non-Hispanics are much older, and are aging out of the electorate.  As of 2012, the median age of the White, non-Hispanic population was 42.3, while the media age for Asian Americans was about 9 years younger at 33.2, Blacks were over 11 years younger than Whites at 30.9, and Latinos were about 15 years younger at a median age at 27.6.  What’s more, the Census reported in 2012 that for the first time ever, a majority of all babies born in the U.S. were non-White.

The population dynamics are sure to change the American electorate beyond 2012 as the number of Latino, Black, and Asian voters continues to grow at a pace much faster than for Whites, who are likely to continue facing declines in their voting eligible population for years to come.