New Asian American Voters: Political Incorporation and Participation in 2016

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Abstract

In 2016, Asian Americans represented the fastest growing racial minority group in the United States largely due to the flow of new immigration. As a result, Asian Americans are poised to be the next major bloc of new voters in the electorate. Yet, as a largely new immigrant group, institutional barriers—in particular, naturalization and registration—are important factors which need to be more thoroughly taken into account when explaining Asian American participation patterns. In this article, we show how scholars can adopt a different strategy of analysis that recognizes both institutional barriers to political participation through immigrant status and variation across national origin group. We argue that structural impediments to participation and national origin differences have not been fully accounted for in previous explanations of Asian American political participation. Our analysis shows that when Asian Americans are disaggregated by incorporation status (being registered to vote, eligible but not registered to vote, or noncitizen), we gain new insights about the factors that predict political participation. The findings from an analysis of 2016 election data feature the unique behaviors of Filipinos, Asian Indians, and the Vietnamese and highlight that second-generation Asian Americans are not necessarily more participatory than their immigrant counterparts.

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APA

Masuoka, N., Ramanathan, K., & Junn, J. (2019). New Asian American Voters: Political Incorporation and Participation in 2016. Political Research Quarterly, 72(4), 991–1003. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912919843342

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