A new survey shows that fewer than half of Asian American evangelical Christians vote for the Republican Party, compared with 70 per cent of registered white evangelicals.
The results of the Pew Research Center survey have surprised many in the United States, where it is widely thought the nation’s conservative evangelical Christians were stalwart supporters of the Republicans.
Director of the Asian American studies program at the University of Maryland, Janelle Wong, told Radio Australia’s Connect Asia that Asian American and Latino evangelicals display the same mixed partisanship, with both tending to support a bigger government that provides more services.
“That’s a really different kind of conservatism, its theological conservatism but not necessarily the same kind of political conservatism.”
Ms. Wong says Asian American evangelicals’ immigrant backgrounds may explain their mixed political allegiances.
“80 per cent of Asian American adults…they’re immigrants and definitely many of them come from states, foreign states that have a pretty robust government and a government that provides probably more social services in many cases than US government does,” she said.
“Most [Asian] immigrants came to the United States during the Bill Clinton years, he was a visible, kind of very charismatic Democrat and I think that also had an effect.”
Despite this, Ms. Wong says compared to white evangelicals, Asian Americans tend to be more devout in certain respects.
“They tend to attend services more often, they tend to be more orthodox in their theological beliefs…but at the same time they also tend to be much less Republican and conservative than their white evangelical counterparts.”