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Understanding the Asian American Vote in the 2016 Election

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 January 2018

Natalie Masuoka*
Tufts University
Hahrie Han
University of California-Santa Barbara
Vivien Leung
University of California-Los Angeles
Bang Quan Zheng
University of California-Los Angeles
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Natalie Masuoka, Tufts University, Medford, MA 02155, USA. E-mail:
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As the number of Asian American voters has increased with each election, more research is needed to understand the participation and voting patterns of this diverse electorate. This paper offers an analysis of Asian American political participation and vote choice preferences during the 2016 presidential election. The paper begins by addressing the concerns related to Asian American political incorporation. We disaggregate Asian Americans into three voting types—voters, those who are eligible to vote but are not registered, and those who are ineligible to vote—and compare the demographic differences found across these three groups. The second half of the paper turns to Asian American candidate preferences in the 2016 election. We find that voters who report high levels of media consumption and those with a strong sense of political efficacy were more likely to support Clinton. Our analysis of non-voters suggests that the potential incorporation of these Asian Americans would result in a continued base of support for the Democratic party.

Research Article
Copyright © The Race, Ethnicity, and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association 2018 

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