Asian-Americans in California prefer Obama

By Nadia Trinidad, ABS CBN North America News Bureau chief

Posted at Oct 03 2012 01:45 PM | Updated as of Oct 04 2012 04:40 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (UPDATED) - California remains a safe state for Barack Obama, according to a multi-lingual survey conducted in September by the Institute of Government Studies at UC Berkeley and the New America Media.

The poll, conducted in English, Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese aimed to paint the sentiment of ethnic minority groups that have accounted for more than 90 percent of California’s voter registration growth over the last two decades.

“If you could pull apart these data by age you would see very big differences between the younger Asian American voters and the middle and older Asian American voters. The younger Californians overall are heavily for Obama,” Field Poll Director Mark Di Camillo said.

From the administrations of Richard Nixon in the late 60s to George Bush Sr, California voted Republican. It turned into a blue state during the Clinton years and in 2008, Barrack Obama won in California by a 24-percent margin.

Field Poll believes it will likely do so again.

“To overcome the Latino preference for Democratic candidates they would have to win by at least 10 points among all other candidates which is a huge hurdle,” Di Camillo said.

The same poll shows California voters oppose granting driver’s licenses and in-state tuition discounts to undocumented immigrants though most voters support creating a path to citizenship.

“It’s interesting that the Chinese Americans are more likely than other populations to be supporting temporary work permits,” Di Camillo added.

It also showed that after years of unwavering support to capital punishment, California voters are now divided over whether to repeal the death penalty through a measure on the November 6 ballot.

Filipino-Americans were not included in the survey due to budget limitations. Field Poll said that when it poured over the list of registered voters, it didn't have enough funding to identify most Filipinos whose last names are similar to Latinos.