Friday, September 25, 2009

Asian American Vote Breaks Young for Yoon

In his third place run for Mayor of Boston in Tuesday’s preliminary election, City Councilor Sam Yoon carried several precincts in traditionally progressive areas of Boston, but it was Mayor Menino who carried every precinct with the largest concentration of Asian American voters.

Though that much can be confirmed by a look at unofficial returns, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund dug a little deeper in its exit polling. The survey found Menino was favored by a clear majority of Asian American voters—71%, followed by Yoon at 22% and Michael Flaherty at 6 percent. But the poll also found the voters’ preference also depended on age. Among younger Asian American voters, the winner was Yoon, at 46%, with Menino at 31 percent.

Short of confirmation by exit poll, it stands to reason that age might also help explain why Yoon was the top voter-getter in parts of Jamaica Plain, Allston and the Back Bay.

Among candidates for City Councilor at Large, the leader was another Asian American from Dorchester, Hiep Quoc Nguyen, with 39%. The next highest levels of support were for Félix G. Arroyo (30%), and for Tomás González and Tito Jackson—each with 25 percent.

Voters were asked to list the main issues affecting their choice of candidates. The largest number listed health care (49%), followed by economy/jobs (37%), housing/development policies (26%), senior care (24%), education (23%) and public safety (19%).

The Fund says there were “few problems” with the voting process, though it notes many Asian Americans needed bilingual ballots.