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Majority of Indian Americans prefer Obama to Romney: Survey

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Washington: Asian Americans likely to vote in November strongly prefer Barack Obama over Mitt Romney and among these Indian Americans show the strongest support for Obama, according to two reports released this week by the National Asian American Survey (NAAS).

The reports, drawn from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,300 interviews, offer the most comprehensive portrait of Asian American political views.

"Asian American voters are getting a considerable amount of attention from the presidential campaigns this year, particularly in the battleground states of Nevada, North Carolina and Virginia," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside and director of the NAAS.

"When compared to the general electorate, and even the Latino electorate, the Asian American vote is very much up for grabs at this late stage in the presidential campaign," he stated.

But the survey data show that 32 percent of likely Asian American voters remain undecided after the presidential nominating conventions, much higher than the estimated 7 percent rate among the general population.

"Uncertainty is also a defining characteristic of party identification," noted Taeku Lee, professor and chair of political science and professor of law at the University of California, Berkeley.

"Given the high proportion of immigrants among the Asian American electorate, we find a much higher proportion of non-partisans than the national average."

Lee is a principal investigator of the survey and co-author of a book (with Zoltan Hajnal), "Why Americans Don’t Join The Party."

The data also show that among likely voters, 43 percent of Asian Americans support Barack Obama, while 24 percent prefer Romney.

There are considerable differences by ethnic group: Indian Americans show the strongest support for Obama with 68 percent, and Samoans and Filipinos show strongest support for Romney with 39 percent and 38 percent, respectively.

Democrats have a 34 percent to 18 percent advantage among Asian Americans, but a majority of Asian Americans (51 percent) are Independent or do not identify with the U.S. party system. This figure is higher than the average for the national population (40 percent).