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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Republicans and Asian Americans

In Defying the Odds, we talk about the social and economic divides that enabled Trump to enter the White House. In Divided We Stand, we discuss how these divides played out in 2020.

 Ruy Teixeira at AEI:

Even in 2020, there were signs of defection in congressional races in California and in other local races. Like Hispanics, Asian voters were concerned about public safety and rejected demands to defund the police. Asian voters in California, New York and Virginia were also upset by the Democrats’ support for aggressive affirmative action policies that would be at their expense, since in gifted and talented high schools and in top-tier colleges, they were enrolled at percentages well above their percentage in the population and would be harmed by the imposition of the kind of quota systems Democrats were supporting. Partly in reaction to this, Asian neighborhoods in New York City swung by double digits toward Trump in 2020. In California, Asians, as well as Hispanics, played a large hand in the defeat of the affirmative action referendum, which lost by 57 to 43 percent.

In 2021 and 2022, Democrats also suffered from defections among Asian-American voters. In Virginia’s 2021 gubernatorial contest, victorious Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin got 44 percent of Asian votes. In that year’s New York mayoral contest, Republicans also improved over their 2017 performance by 14 points in heavily Asian precincts.

In 2022, Asian voter defection from the Democrats was more broad-based than in 2020. Nationwide the Democratic advantage among Asian voters declined 12 points relative to 2020. And there were abundant signs that Asian voters in many urban neighborhoods were slipping away from the Democrats. In New York City, the only precinct in Manhattan to vote for Republican gubernatorial candidate Lee Zeldin was in Chinatown. In Brooklyn and Queens, Zeldin outpaced Democrat Kathy Hochul in the heavily Chinese 47th and 49th Assembly Districts and 17th State Senate District in Brooklyn. Zeldin also won the 40th Assembly District based in Flushing, which is dominated by Chinese and Korean immigrants.

More detail on these defections has just been provided by a very detailed New York Times analysis of Asian voter shifts in the Zeldin-Hochul gubernatorial election