AARP Spotlights Concerns and Attitudes of Asian American Voters 50+ Ahead of 2020 Election

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WASHINGTON – Today, AARP released new findings from recent national surveys exploring the key priorities and concerns of Asian American voters age 50 and older. Results from the 2020 Asian American Voter Survey (AAVS), conducted by AAPI Data on behalf of AARP, APIAVote and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, show that 93% of Asian Americans 50-plus view health care as important heading into the election, making it the top most important issue. Jobs and the economy follow as the second most important issue, with 89% of respondents citing them either as “extremely” or “very” important.

According to the National Survey of Older Voters During COVID-19: Asian Americans, conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of AARP, although 86% are “very likely” to vote in 2020, the majority of Asian American voters 50+ are not being engaged or contacted by either party affiliation (61%) or community organizations (74%), according to (AAVS).

“Voter turnout among adults 50-plus, including Asian American and Pacific Islanders, continues to outpace other age groups every election season,” said Daphne Kwok, Vice President of Multicultural Leadership for AAPI Audience Strategy at AARP. “This will be a crucial voting bloc in 2020, and candidates need to address the issues that matter to them and their families in the closing stretch of the campaign.”

The AAVS results also highlight what Asian American voters 50-plus are most often worried about due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including job loss and finding employment (72%), not being able to receive access to health care (48%), and experiencing hate crimes, harassment and discrimination (45%).

Additional findings from the surveys include:

  • Slightly more Asian American voters 50+ plan to go to the polls in person (51%) than those who plan to vote by mail or absentee ballot (46%) (AAVS).
  • 46% are concerned about election interference in 2020, while 40% worry about their health and safety at the polls (AAVS).
  • On issues that affect them personally or their community, Asian American voters 50-plus cited the following as “extremely” or “very” important to them: addressing the coronavirus (83%), securing the future of Social Security (83%) and Medicare (78%), lowering health care costs (78%) and prescription drug costs (77%), and having enough retirement savings (76%) (Harris)
  • Most survey participants (76%) receive their sources of information to help guide voting decisions from media news outlets and talk shows, followed by candidate debates and town halls (50%) (Harris).

In August, AARP launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to help Americans 50-plus vote safely, whether at home or in-person, provide them with information they need about this year’s elections. In addition, AARP has teamed up with APIAVote, a leading nonprofit organization that mobilizes the AAPI community in every election cycle to ensure the group is educated about the issues and deadlines so that their votes count.

View the full results from The Harris Poll and the AAVS Survey. For additional community and voter resources, visit aarp.org/AAPI and aarp.org/Election2020.

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