That’s true for a couple of reasons. First, perceptions of discrimination and feelings of social exclusion are strongly linked with how Asian Americans vote. Take, for example, the relationship between Asian Americans who said they perceived discrimination and how they said they would vote in the 2020 presidential election.
Over three-quarters of Asian American and Pacific Islanders voters who thought there was “a great deal” or “a lot” of anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S. supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump in weekly Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape surveys conducted from April to September 2020. But only 37 percent of Asian Americans who didn’t think there was any anti-Asian discrimination preferred Biden to Trump in the presidential election.
Political scientists Alexander Kuo, Neil Malhotra and Cecilia Mo have argued that Asian Americans who experience discrimination are more likely to support Democrats because they associate social exclusion based on their ethnic background with the predominantly white Republican Party. Take, for example, what Kuo, Malhotra and Mo found in one experiment. Some participants were randomly subjected to a microaggression from a white lab assistant who questioned their citizenship before having them answer a survey that measured political attitudes. The Asian Americans subjected to the microaggression were 13 percentage points more likely than the control group to view the Democratic Party in a positive light.