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NEW POLL: Michigan Survey of AAPI Community Reveals Asian Americans Experience Racism at Alarming Levels; Racism Driving Asian Americans to Political Engagement

Selected Findings Show Michigan AAPI Community’s Priorities, Vaccination Hesitancy Rate, and COVID-19 Impact

Detroit, MI – Today, Michigan Asian American Progressives and HIT Strategies announced findings from the Michigan Asian American Pacific Islander Survey, a groundbreaking and expansive poll of Michigan’s AAPI and Middle Eastern communities. Conducted in January before the Atlanta shootings, the survey’s data reveals critical demographic information, including the alarming rise of anti-Asian racism experienced by the survey’s respondents. According to the poll, 41% of Michigan’s AAPI residents said they’ve either personally experienced or know someone who has experienced racist or anti-Asian comments because of coronavirus. The survey reflects the escalation of racist incidents and violence from the start of the COVID pandemic that led to the Atlanta shootings in March. 

Despite the rising violence, Asian Americans in Michigan are mobilized and ready to engage politically. Fifty-seven (57%) of those who have experienced racism also believe the government should be doing more to solve it. The increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence over the last year has helped to galvanize the community and drive AAPIs to politics. In the 2020 general election, Asian American turnout increased more than any other demographic. Michigan’s AAPI community followed the national trend. A significant number of Asian Americans who said they did not vote in the 2016 general election, voted in the 2020 general election.

The extensive Michigan Asian American Pacific Islander Survey covered several topics, including: 

  • COVID-19 impact on the Michigan AAPI health and economy
  • Michigan AAPI community vaccination hesitancy
  • Michigan AAPI views of Trump’s impeachment
  • Michigan AAPI reaction to the January 6th events on Capitol Hill.
  • Michigan AAPI views on abortion and gun-control

Topline findings are available by clicking here.

“Asian Americans in Michigan are a political force that cannot be ignored,” Laura Misumi, Michigan Asian American Progressives, executive director said, “Our communities felt deeply the impact of anti-Asian rhetoric and are hungry for opportunities to engage beyond presidential elections. We have seen the horrific consequences of ignoring and erasing our history, and MAAP will continue to work to engage Asian American Michiganders on the issues we care about.”

“As Asian Americans become more politically engaged, they will be looking for political leaders who speak directly to their top concerns and priorities,” said Roshni Nedungadi, HIT Strategies partner. “The events of last year have really awakened the Asian American community to their real political power, and this survey of Michigan shows their readiness to get off the sidelines and play a more prominent role.”

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