Most Chinese I know are right wing economically, believing in low taxes and minimal welfare. On the other hand, as a minority in the States, they might be attracted to the party that is felt to cater better to minority interests. So which way will the majority vote?
This poll http://news.ncmonline.com/news/view_article.html?article_id=39c587b6a37a3e6191a72e22e657119b taken last March suggests that registered voters of Chinese ethnicity were leaning 60% Kerry, 15% Bush, 25% undecided.
It’s only one poll, it’s several months old, I don’t know how reputable the polling organisation was, etc, etc, etc.
The number of undecided seems uncommonly high. Thanks for the link. I wonder if there is any tendency to vote along community rather than individual lines.
Would 25% undecided have been a high figure last March? I seem to recall reading that a significant number of US voters appear to make their decisions at around the time of the conventions.
As for “voting along community lines”, I’m not sure what you mean. If voters with any particular ethnic background have a voting preference which is signficantly different from the population as a whole then, yes, they may be “voting along community lines”, but ethnicity may not enter into their preferences at all. It may be, for instance, that voters of a particular ethnicity are concentrated in certain socioeconomic classes. If they vote as other members of those classes do, they will have a voting preference different from the population as a whole, but that is a class issue, not a race issue.
It may be true that voters of Chinese background tend to favour low taxes and self-reliance rather more the population as a whole does. It may also be true, however, that their views on tax and welfare influence their voting intentions less than is true for the population as a whole. It’s a speculation, but not a wildly unreasonable one, that voters from an easily identifiable racial minority may attach more importance to race relations, intercommunal harmony and social inclusion than the population as a whole, and correspondingly less importance to other issues. So, while their views on tax and welfare might tend to make them favour the Republican party, their views on tax and welfare might not, in the end, dictate how they vote.
Would that be “voting along community lines”?
Moved to IMHO.
General Questions Moderator
The Chinese woman I work with tells me she isn’t going to vote…something about not having the right paperwork or something.
By voting along community lines, I meant putting community interests, as often articulated by a community leader, before individual interests. Not unlike a three line whip, to borrow a British parliamentary analogy.
Well here’s a short survey of some Chinese voters:
My dad is a fairly well-off retiree who favored Bush in 2000 for his economic policies. Now, he is completely disgusted by the war in Iraq, and the change in how America is perceived by the rest of the world, therefore I believe he’s voting for Kerry.
My step-mother is a Catholic conservative, who disliked Gore in 2000 for being a pedant. She now dislikes Bush for the war in Iraq, and will likely vote for Kerry.
My sister is a pro-choice single woman, who preferred Gore for his social policies, thought Bush was an idiot, and is a pro-China supporter. She will vote for Kerry.
I’m a pro-choice married man with a child, and I don’t particularly like Kerry. But I’m in the anybody but Bush camp, so I’ll vote for the lesser of two evils.
Obviously, anybody who votes for Bush (or Kerry) in the belief - however naive - that he is “good for America” because he says so is putting community before individual interests and, in your terms, is vcting along community lines.
But By “community” I take it you mean a lesser community than the nation as a whole? Many people vote along community lines, and are encouraged by the candidates to do so. Candidates explicitly reach out to “middle America” or “families”, or are described - accurately - by commentators as targetting the middle classes, the working classes, whoever. Presumably they expect indivdual voters to respond to this appeal to specific communities.
I think what you have in mind is specifically ethnic communities. You do occasionally see politicians courting “the Jewish vote” or “the Irish vote”, but (based on my limited observations from outside the US) they seem to do that a lot less than they court the votes of communities which are not ethnically defined. Which suggests that politicians think that voters of minority ethnicity aren’t hugely motivated to vote along ethnic lines - and certainly not as motivated as they are by socioeconomic class. And if that’s what politicians think, they’re probably right.
It may not be a representative sample, Aestivalis, but it’s very interesting nonetheless. Thank you.
By the way, I’d be interested in your input on an issue that has very much divided the Chinese community here in Hong Kong, the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade in, I think, 1999. Some believe it was a mistake - that the US would never deliberately target the Embassy when they had so much to lose by doing so - while others believe it was premeditated - although the reasons people give for believing the US wished to do this vary quite a bit.
What’s the view from soem of the Chinese in the States?