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Catalist | Analysis of AAPI Voters in the 2022 Midterms

On May 18, 2023, Catalist published a comprehensive voter file analysis of the 2022 midterm with demographic breakdowns and a comparison of heavily contested and less contested elections. This was the first in a series of reports on What Happened in the 2022 general election from the perspective of the Catalist voter database, the longest-running outside the two major political parties.

Building on its national What Happened analysis, Catalist produced 2022 Constituency Reports on October 19, 2023, to offer deep dives on specific constituency groups, including Black, Latino, AAPI, youth and women voters. As with Catalist’s 2022 What Happened report, these reports focus on the national House vote, different voting patterns in states with highly contested versus less contested statewide elections, and state-level performance. The reports also explore registration, primary voting, and ongoing shifts in which methods people use to vote. 

On AAPI voters, Catalist found:

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are a rapidly growing and diversifying group in the United States and their voter engagement and participation have kept pace with this extraordinary growth. AAPI communities comprise a rapidly expanding share of registrants and voters and continue to support Democratic candidates at high rates. In a warning sign, however, Democratic support among AAPI voters declined between the 2020 Presidential election and the 2022 midterms nationally and in states with highly contested Senate and Gubernatorial races. Although our estimates suggest the decline was considerably smaller in highly contested states than nationally, there is greater uncertainty around shifts in highly contested 2022 states because of the relatively small share of the electorate in these states comprised of AAPI voters.

AAPI registered voters have grown sharply as a share of all registered voters from 2014 to 2022, mirroring their population growth. These changes also reflect relatively high registration and turnout rates in recent elections, with AAPI turnout in 2022 notably remaining stable even when compared to the high-salience midterm of 2018. Their vote share nationally was 4 percent in both of the last two midterms. In states with highly contested 2022 Senate and Gubernatorial contests, where there is a relatively lower concentration of AAPI residents, their vote share also remained stable over this period, at 2 percent.

AAPI voters continued to support Democrats at high rates. Both nationally and in highly contested states, about 6 in 10 AAPI voters are estimated to have voted Democratic. Despite being a relatively smaller share of Democrats’ multi-racial coalition than Black, Latino or white voters, in multiple close battleground races, the number of AAPI Democratic voters exceeded the win margins, underscoring the pivotal nature of this constituency. 

Nationally, however, Democratic support among AAPI voters declined by 7 percentage points between the 2020 Presidential election and 2022 House contests. Support declines in highly contested states were considerably smaller at an estimated 2 points. Our estimates also suggest that decreases in Democratic support were smaller among young AAPI voters and among AAPI voters in states with highly contested Senate and Gubernatorial elections. 

Finally, the composition of the AAPI electorate shifted along some demographic dimensions and remained stable along others across the last three midterm elections. Relative to 2014 and 2018, the 2022 AAPI electorate included slightly higher shares of Gen Z and Millennial voters, non-married voters, and suburban voters. Over this same period the composition of the AAPI electorate remained stable by gender and educational attainment. 

This report examines in close detail levels and trends across recent election cycles in registration, vote share, support, and vote method among AAPI voters, breaking out these topics by state and sub-constituency as relevant to illuminate key findings.”

Click this link read the details and access graphics and charts from Catalist’s 2022 Constituency Report on AAPI Voters.