However, Trump’s base consists of Americans who worry about losing their jobs and communities to imported workers. The base delivered him into the White House in 2016, leaving him little room to woo the subset of Asian immigrant voters who want more immigration and more diversity.
But Trump may not need migration concessions to win votes from Asian American voters, just as he does not need to offer amnesty to win large slices of the Latino vote. These nonwhite voters have a variety of normal reasons to oppose the Democrats’ corrosive policies on the economy,
university admissions, policing, foreign policy, and cultural issues such as racial claims and transgender promotion.
For example, the
Times of India reported September 18 on the administration’s outreach to Indian American voters, which emphasized national security rather than free movement of Indian workers:
At the formal launch event of Indian Voices for Trump, Eric [Trump] referred to his father’s foreign policy on China and Pakistan, which he said “is very different from his predecessors.”
“I think that’s very different than past presidents, to tell you the truth. I think when you see how past presidents have emboldened China. And you see the problems that Indians are having with China and will likely have with China and in fact the whole world will probably have with China at some point. You know the problems with Pakistan better than I ever will,” he said.
In his welcome address, Indian Voices for Trump board member
Ritesh Desai thanked President Trump and his family for supporting Indian-Americans and strengthening U.S.-India ties.
India and the United States are
natural allies, Desai said at the September 17 meeting in Georgia.
The September survey was run by
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, APIAVote, and AAPI Data. The New York Times downplayed Trump’s gains as it reported Setempber 15:
“Through this survey, we see that Asian-Americans are ready to exercise their power,” said John C. Yang, the head of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, an advocacy group that co-sponsored the survey.
In contrast, the data about Trump’s claimed 27 percent score in 2016 came from a small-scale
exit poll, NPR reported. The 2017 data came from a much larger survey by the Democrat-leaning Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF):
The difference in the [two survey’] results lies, in large part, because of how the polling was conducted. AALDEF surveyed close to 14,000 Asian-American voters, more than 14 times the number of Asian-American participants in Edison Research’s [exit] poll.
While Edison Research conducted polling in English and Spanish, AALDEF used questionnaires written in English and 11 Asian languages including Chinese, Bengali, Korean, Tagalog, and Vietnamese, plus volunteers who could speak 23 Asian languages and dialects.
Both the 2020 AAJC poll and the 2017 AALDEF poll show that Trump’s vote share was very different in the various groups of Asian immigrants.
Some of the groups are antagonistic to each other, and they have different priorities over trade, integration, economics, migration, and national security.
For example, Trump got 24 percent of Chinese American votes in 2016, says AALDEF. Trump now gets 20 percent support in the AAJC’s 2020 survey, plus some share of the 23 percent “don’t know” responses in the AAJC survey.
In contrast, Trump got 14 percent of Indians’ vote in 2016 and may reach 28 percent in 2020, according to the two surveys.
In 2016, Trump got just nine percent of Arab American votes, 14 percent of Korean American votes, 27 percent of Filipino American votes, and 32 percent of Vietnamese American votes, according to the
The AAJC’s 2020 poll showed Trump’s
declared support was higher outside blue-state New York and California.