Why Do Asian Americans Identify as Democrats? Testing Theories of Social Exclusion and Intergroup Commonality

Source: Alexander Kuo, Neil Malhotra, Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, Vanderbilt University, Working Paper: 1-2014, June 26, 2015

Why are Asian Americans overwhelmingly likely to identify as Democrats? Addressing this question is important given the increasing presence of Asians in the American electorate. We focus on two explanations: social exclusion and intergroup commonality. According to the first hypothesis, social exclusion arises from Asian Americans’ perceptions that they are viewed as less “American,” and associate these feelings with the Republican Party. The second hypothesis is that Asian Americans exhibit
intergroup commonality; they believe they have shared interests with other ethnic minorities that already support the Democratic Party. As a result, Asian Americans align themselves politically with these minority groups rather than with whites. Using a mixed-method approach (a large-scale representative survey, a laboratory experiment, and a survey experiment), we find empirical support for both hypotheses.
Why Asian Americans don’t vote Republican
Source: Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, The Conversation, November 2, 2015