Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California's Asian-American voters include many who are undecided and nonpartisan

Party identification among Asian Americans

National Asian American Survey

A majority of California Asian-American voters choose neither Republican nor Democratic party registration.

A new study of California's Asian-American voters shows about 30 percent are undecided about the presidential race. That's a much higher rate of undecided voters than the overall population, which tends to be about 7 percent undecided.

Slightly more than half of all Asian-American voters in the state register as non-partisan, said UC Riverside political science professor Karthick Ramakrishnan.

"Asian-Americans are the most heavily immigrant group in the United States so it takes them a while to gain familiarity with the U.S. political system and figure out where they fit in with respect to the parties," Ramakrishnan said.

Another factor is that Asian-American voters receive the least amount of contact from political parties and campaigns, he said. And despite having fairly high levels of education, their turnout at the polls is among the lowest of any race or ethnic group, said Ramakrishnan.

Ramakrishnan and his co-author Taeku Lee, a political science professor at UC Berkeley are the researchers behind the National Asian American Survey, which interviews thousands of Asian-Americans nationwide about their political issues and voting. The California results rely on interviews with more than 1,100 Asian-American voters in California.

2012 National Asian American Survey - California

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