The Korea Herald


Korean-Americans favor Clinton

By Yoon Min-sik

Published : Sept. 6, 2016 - 16:32

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Korean-American voters in the US appear to strongly favor Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump for their next president, regardless of their political inclination, a recent survey by a US-based scholar revealed.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California’s Network of Korean-American Leaders, showed that 70.25 percent of the respondents are planning to vote for Clinton in the upcoming US presidential election in November.

Another 4.96 percent expressed support for Trump, while 16.53 percent were undecided and 0.83 percent said they would vote for a third-party candidate. The rest said they were likely to not vote at all.

Participants in the survey were 140 prominent figures and opinion leaders in the Korean-American community, according to researchers. Some 68.6 percent of them were in the 30-40 age group, while the male-to-female ratio was about 47:53. Of the respondents, 74 had annual income of over $150,000, with about 16 percent saying they make over $500,000 a year.

The results indicated that support for Clinton was higher even among Republicans in the group, as 25 identified themselves as Republicans, but only six said they would likely vote for Trump. 

Hilary Clinton (left) and Donald Trump (right). Yonhap Hilary Clinton (left) and Donald Trump (right). Yonhap

“Not many (Korean-American) Republicans will vote for Trump as there is a growing feeling among Korean-Americans that he is somewhat ‘dangerous’ when it comes to Korea-US relations,” commented lead researcher Lee Je-hoon, a research associate professor and director of the Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership at the USC School of Social Work.

The Republican candidate, who has gained a reputation for his eccentric personality and brash remarks, has startled Koreans by attacking the Seoul-Washington free trade agreement and saying the US should withdraw its troops from the country if Korea doesn’t shoulder more costs.

Lee’s findings showed that Korean-Americans are greatly interested in Korean affairs, as around 60 percent of respondents said they consume Korea-related news either daily or weekly.

About 81 percent said that Korea-US relations are at least “somewhat important” when deciding who to vote for as president, indicating that Clinton’s comfortable lead was due to concern that Trump winning the presidency would be detrimental to the alliance.

The USC Center for Asian-Pacific Leadership, the organizer of NetKAL, aims at promoting leadership education for Asians and Asian-Americans and strengthening their communities.

By Yoon Min-sik (