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Obama leads among Asian-Americans

Barack Obama enjoys a 17-point advantage over John McCain among Asian-American voters, but one-third of them remain undecided and could play an important role in some battleground states, reports V Krishna.

world Updated: Oct 07, 2008 22:31 IST
V Krishna

Barack Obama enjoys a 17-point advantage over John McCain among Asian-American voters, but one-third of them remain undecided and could play an important role in some battleground states, a new survey says.

The 2008 National Asian American Survey, conducted by researchers from Rutgers University in New

Jersey, the University of California Berkeley, the University of California Riverside and the University of Southern California, was released on Monday.

While 41 per cent of likely voters in the poll back Obama, 24 per cent support McCain. In battleground states, where either candidate could win on November 4, Obama leads 43-22.

Researchers said 34 per cent are undecided. In the general population, they said, national polls conducted since the party conventions show that about 8 per cent are undecided.

“Even in battleground states and among those Asian-Americans who were interviewed in the second half of September, more than 30 per cent were undecided between Barack Obama and John McCain,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, an associate professor of political science at UC Riverside.

“With such a high proportion of undecided voters, Asian-Americans are a critical source of potential votes for either candidate in the final weeks of the campaign.”

Next to Latinos, Asian-Americans are the fastest-growing group in the United States. They constitute 5 per cent of the population nationally. According to the researchers, they will likely play a significant role in battleground states such as Virginia, Nevada and Washington, where they account for 5 per cent or more of the population.

Even in states such as Colorado, Ohio and Florida, where their share is smaller, Asian-Americans may provide the margin of victory, the researchers said.

The survey — the most comprehensive to date of the political views of Asian-Americans — was conducted from August 18 to September 26. More than 4,000 likely voters were interviewed — in English, Cantonese, Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.