Asian Americans have some of the highest levels of support for abortion rights — and it's driving them to vote

By Sakshi Venkatraman |

Asians usually vote blue, and their rates of political engagement have surged over the past five years. Between 2014 and 2020, voter turnout for Asian Americans grew from 49.3% to 59.5%. The only group that saw higher gains was Pacific Islanders, whose turnout over the same time frame grew from 41.2% to 55.7%.

Asian Americans ranked health care as the top issue in deciding how they will vote next week, with 88% marking it as “very important” or “extremely important” in the voter survey. Jobs and the economy followed in importance, at 86%, and crime, at 83%.

The focus on health care in the Asian American electorate points in large part to a desire for abortion access, which is possibly paired with concern over the lingering effects of Covid, researchers said. The downfall of Roe has been the biggest health-related news event of the year, they said, and it’s not coincidental that it’s coinciding with renewed voter engagement around health care.

“That tells me that abortion rights and reproductive rights are likely what’s driving that prioritization,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder and director of demographic data and policy research at AAPI Data. “It’s not like the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare is in the news.”

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