Sway to the South Asian Tune

Summary

In this podcast, I give a broad overview of the results of my political survey along with an update on the current situation for the Presidential election.

Analysis

Since I started my political podcast on Radio Azad I realized there is very little data on the South Asian community regarding American politics and policies. Therefore, I conducted this survey to identify what matters most to us in this upcoming election and what are some policies we need to educate ourselves more on. In the podcast I did a basic overview of the hottest topics but here I go into further detail over every single question.

To start with, I had 144 complete responses. I had about an even number of male and females respond and the majority of them were in the 30-49 age group.  The next age group was the 18-29 year olds followed by the 50-69 year olds and a few who were above 70 years old.  I based a majority of my questions from surveys asking the general public about major policy issues for the 2016 elections which were administered by The Washington Post, The Brookings Institute and The New York Times. In case you're wondering what The Big Issues Of The 2016 Campaign are for America, click on the link. The results for the South Asian Political Survey are below along with my analysis.

After the Bush administration it seemed inevitable that many South Asians shifted from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. I was unsurprised that the majority of people who answered my survey were Democrats but I was surprised to see how many Independents there were. I would have thought there would have been more Republicans but I was wrong.

After the Bush administration it seemed inevitable that many South Asians shifted from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. I was unsurprised that the majority of people who answered my survey were Democrats but I was surprised to see how many Independents there were. I would have thought there would have been more Republicans but I was wrong.

I think I could have worded this question differently and asked people to pick what were the three most important traits they were looking for. Many people had issue with choosing only one trait to base their pick for a political candidate. BUT, some people appreciated the question feeling that it made them think really hard about what they found to be the most important trait they look for in a politician. 

I think I could have worded this question differently and asked people to pick what were the three most important traits they were looking for. Many people had issue with choosing only one trait to base their pick for a political candidate. BUT, some people appreciated the question feeling that it made them think really hard about what they found to be the most important trait they look for in a politician. 

So some of the responses for this question were surprising to me. I initially thought that Education was going to win out given how much importance our community has on it but it ended up in fifth place. It seems that South Asians feel the same as most of the nation in that the Economy is the most important issue to them. Even though our economy has been improving and South Asians are usually placed in better paying jobs, I am curious to know why our community felt that the economy was the most important issue for them.   Given the rise of Islamaphobia and the implementation of the ACA, the results for Discrimination and Healthcare were as I expected. Foreign Policy beating out many of the other topics also took me by surprise. Initially, I thought that maybe the result was due to the current ISIS conflict but that would fall under National Security. I can only assume that people have a vested interest in how the US-India/Pakistan/Bangladesh relations are. 

So some of the responses for this question were surprising to me. I initially thought that Education was going to win out given how much importance our community has on it but it ended up in fifth place. It seems that South Asians feel the same as most of the nation in that the Economy is the most important issue to them. Even though our economy has been improving and South Asians are usually placed in better paying jobs, I am curious to know why our community felt that the economy was the most important issue for them.  

Given the rise of Islamaphobia and the implementation of the ACA, the results for Discrimination and Healthcare were as I expected. Foreign Policy beating out many of the other topics also took me by surprise. Initially, I thought that maybe the result was due to the current ISIS conflict but that would fall under National Security. I can only assume that people have a vested interest in how the US-India/Pakistan/Bangladesh relations are. 

Okay, so to South Asians Healthcare is number 3 on their list of importance but they feel that it is the country's most important problem. I find that to be quite interesting given that most polls have shown that the economy is the country's biggest issue to date. But, this result might be because many South Asians are in the medical field and healthcare issue is what they see at work, this is all just an assumption but I am curious about the result.  I again assume that Racism is so high on the list due to the rise in Islamaphobia. I had expected Income Inequality to be higher on the list but it is in third place followed by Education. I do want to note that most polls show that the general public has show very little interest on Education as a major policy issue this election cycle, whereas South Asian have consistently made it a priority policy issue. 

Okay, so to South Asians Healthcare is number 3 on their list of importance but they feel that it is the country's most important problem. I find that to be quite interesting given that most polls have shown that the economy is the country's biggest issue to date. But, this result might be because many South Asians are in the medical field and healthcare issue is what they see at work, this is all just an assumption but I am curious about the result. 

I again assume that Racism is so high on the list due to the rise in Islamaphobia. I had expected Income Inequality to be higher on the list but it is in third place followed by Education. I do want to note that most polls show that the general public has show very little interest on Education as a major policy issue this election cycle, whereas South Asian have consistently made it a priority policy issue. 

Immigration reform has been a pretty big topic in the debates and for the most part South Asians support a path to citizenship. Although, South Asians have not highly prioritized immigration reform policies. Their interest in this policy issue seems lukewarm.

Immigration reform has been a pretty big topic in the debates and for the most part South Asians support a path to citizenship. Although, South Asians have not highly prioritized immigration reform policies. Their interest in this policy issue seems lukewarm.

South Asians didn't have gun control as their top five most important policy issues and they overwhelmingly support tightening gun laws. That's not surprising to me at all, I don't know many South Asians that own a firearm or go hunting for that matter.

South Asians didn't have gun control as their top five most important policy issues and they overwhelmingly support tightening gun laws. That's not surprising to me at all, I don't know many South Asians that own a firearm or go hunting for that matter.

While most South Asians support action on Climate Change there was a decent amount of people that didn't know enough to make an informed decision. I definitely believe that Climate Change is a policy topic that South Asians need to become more informed about.  

While most South Asians support action on Climate Change there was a decent amount of people that didn't know enough to make an informed decision. I definitely believe that Climate Change is a policy topic that South Asians need to become more informed about.  

I found the data for this question to be intriguing. I wonder if people are unaware of how stringent the vetting process already is for Syrian Refugees coming to America.  But, I thought the numbers for support allowing Syrian Refugees to come here with the current vetting process would be higher. 

I found the data for this question to be intriguing. I wonder if people are unaware of how stringent the vetting process already is for Syrian Refugees coming to America.  But, I thought the numbers for support allowing Syrian Refugees to come here with the current vetting process would be higher. 

When it comes to Abortion I have always known South Asians (young and old) to be more conservative on the issue. So I wonder if South Asians have become more open to the thought of Abortion. Maybe only the younger generation have become more liberal towards the abortion debate? 

When it comes to Abortion I have always known South Asians (young and old) to be more conservative on the issue. So I wonder if South Asians have become more open to the thought of Abortion. Maybe only the younger generation have become more liberal towards the abortion debate? 

Now this is a colorful pie chart and the results were all over the place. Healthcare, which is an exceptionally important policy issue for South Asians, doesn't seem to have a general consensus. While a majority believe in keeping the ACA, many believe in shifting to a single payer healthcare system and then a good chunk of people didn't know enough to make an informed decision. I definitely think this is an issue that South Asians need to learn more about because whether it is keeping the ACA, going to a single payer system or repealing the ACA any of these will majorly impact our healthcare system. 

Now this is a colorful pie chart and the results were all over the place. Healthcare, which is an exceptionally important policy issue for South Asians, doesn't seem to have a general consensus. While a majority believe in keeping the ACA, many believe in shifting to a single payer healthcare system and then a good chunk of people didn't know enough to make an informed decision. I definitely think this is an issue that South Asians need to learn more about because whether it is keeping the ACA, going to a single payer system or repealing the ACA any of these will majorly impact our healthcare system. 

National Security isn't a high priority issue for South Asians but a majority feel that no ground troops are necessary and it is best to create a coalition of many nations (including those from the Middle East) to combat and defeat ISIS. 

National Security isn't a high priority issue for South Asians but a majority feel that no ground troops are necessary and it is best to create a coalition of many nations (including those from the Middle East) to combat and defeat ISIS. 

The responses to this question were also quite varied. Most opposed it or felt that each state should make the final determination on this issue.

The responses to this question were also quite varied. Most opposed it or felt that each state should make the final determination on this issue.

I know a majority of South Asians responded to this question saying we need to discuss how to reduce incarceration, improve mental health and decriminalize marijuana; but I still feel that this is a topic we need to learn more about. I had some people raise concerns that racism and criminal justice should have no differentiation.  I found that analysis to be incorrect since criminal justice reform is not only about racism but is also about rectifying mandatory sentencing, underfunded defense attorneys and the way certain DA's offices are pressured to win cases instead of ensuring a fair trial.  

I know a majority of South Asians responded to this question saying we need to discuss how to reduce incarceration, improve mental health and decriminalize marijuana; but I still feel that this is a topic we need to learn more about. I had some people raise concerns that racism and criminal justice should have no differentiation.  I found that analysis to be incorrect since criminal justice reform is not only about racism but is also about rectifying mandatory sentencing, underfunded defense attorneys and the way certain DA's offices are pressured to win cases instead of ensuring a fair trial.  

Looks like South Asians feel that the wealthy should pay more taxes but there is a good chunk that want to reduce tax rates. I wonder if the income bracket is also applicable to South Asians for this type of question. 

Looks like South Asians feel that the wealthy should pay more taxes but there is a good chunk that want to reduce tax rates. I wonder if the income bracket is also applicable to South Asians for this type of question. 

South Asians seem to be more satisfied with the federal government than the rest of America. 

South Asians seem to be more satisfied with the federal government than the rest of America. 

It seems as though most South Asians are satisfied with their state government but I am curious as to how many really follow their state government politics. 

It seems as though most South Asians are satisfied with their state government but I am curious as to how many really follow their state government politics. 

Overall Thoughts....

  • I think for many South Asians, Islamaphobia is a major concern this election cycle.
  • I wish I had added in some questions regarding student loans and campaign finance since many people voiced concern over those issues.
  • Several people raised issue about the lack of political knowledge and civic engagement the South Asian community had.
    • I completely agree and hope that my website along with my segments on Radio Azad are educating more of our community on these political issues.
  • Of course there is a small room for error in this survey but I believe it is accurate for the most part.
  • I feel the following issues are not fully explored amongst the South Asian community and I would like to discuss them in more detail in upcoming podcasts/blogposts:
    • Veterans Issues
    • Healthcare (difference amongst ACA and Single Payer healthcare)
    • Campaign Finance
    • Climate Change
    • Criminal Justice Reform
    • Immigration Reform
  • Thanks to everyone who participated in my political survey and please let me know if you have any further thoughts, concerns or ideas!