Poll finds Asian-American vote went overwhelming for Obama

A new poll has found that Asian-Americans turned out heavily for President Barack Obama in November’s general election.

Volunteers talked with Asian-American voters outside polling places in 14 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

In Pennsylvania, just 9 percent of Asian Americans voted for Mitt Romney. In New Jersey, there was a little more support for the GOP candidate, just over 20 percent.

The results demonstrate a shift among Asian-American voters, says Glenn Magpantay of the Asian American Legal Defense Fund, which organized the poll.

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“A majority of Asian-Americans enrolled in the Democratic Party,” he said. “When I started this work 14 years ago, these numbers were really different. They tended to be much more Republican.”

Just over a quarter of the respondents had just voted for the first time. Magpantay says this reflects changing patterns of immigration in the numbers of young voters.

Vietnamese-Americans have been in the U.S. in large number for a long time, and tend to vote for conservatives. Just 44 percent cast their ballots for Obama in November, nationally.

A growing population of South Asians are voting Democratic. Speaking to this trend, 96 percent of Bangladeshi-Americans voted for the president’s re-election.

Asian-Americans polled strongly for U.S. Sen. Bob Casey in Pennsylvania (76 percent) and for U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez in New Jersey (76 percent).

The election was heralded by many as a landmark for minority participation in American politics and fuel for another go in Washington at a comprehensive immigration reform bill.

The majority of poll respondents support immigration reform that would include a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally.

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