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Clinton Holds 41-Point Lead Over Trump Among Asian-American Voters: Survey

Hillary Clinton holds a 41-point lead over Donald Trump among Asian-American registered voters headed into November's presidential election, according to a survey released Wednesday.

The Fall 2016 National Asian American Survey, taken between Aug. 10 and Sept. 29 in 11 different languages, found that 55 percent of registered voters intended to vote for Clinton compared to 14 percent for Trump. Eight percent intended to vote for a different candidate, and 16 percent had not yet decided, according to the survey. Seven percent of registered voters declined to give an answer.

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When taking into account voters leaning one way or the other, Clinton's lead grows to 43 points, with 59 percent of registered voters intending to or leaning toward voting for Clinton compared to 16 percent for Trump and 16 percent who were undecided or refused to answer.

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"The big takeaway is a continuation of what we saw in the Spring 2016 survey — an Asian-American population that was become more Democratic over time," Karthick Ramakrishnan, the survey's director, told NBC News. "We see that Trump is likely a significant reason for that shift. Trump's unfavorables are like nothing we've seen before."

A chart from the Fall 2016 National Asian American Survey detailing who respondents intended to or leaned toward voting for. Courtesy of the National Asian American Survey

The survey found that 67 percent of surveyed voters had a "very unfavorable" or "unfavorable" opinion of Trump, compared to 36 percent for Clinton.

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When asked about what the most important issue facing the United States was, 26 percent of respondents said that the economy was most important, followed by 12 percent saying national security, and 10 percent saying racism, with 23 percent of Asian-American voters under the age of 34 said that racism was the most important issue facing the country. Fifty-eight percent of respondents has a "very unfavorable" or "unfavorable" opinion of the Republican party, while nine percent held "somewhat favorable" or "very favorable" views. Regarding the Democratic party, 30 percent of respondents held "very unfavorable" or "somewhat unfavorable" views compared to 60 percent who had "somewhat favorable" or "very favorable" views.

Image: Hillary Clinton is welcomed by Asian American and Pacific Islander supporters in San Gabriel, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is welcomed by Asian American and Pacific Islander supporters in San Gabriel, Calif., on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016. Damian Dovarganes / AP

The survey also polled respondents on a variety of issues, including the Affordable Care Act, federal assistance for college, allowing Muslims into the United States, Syrian refugees, and marijuana legalization.

When asked about the most important issues facing them personally, 19 percent of respondents said the economy, followed by healthcare at 13 percent, and both national security and education at seven percent.

In 2012, 68 percent of Asian-American voters cast ballots for Pres. Barack Obama, compared to 31 percent for Mitt Romney, according to a 2012 post-election review by the National Asian American Survey. As of 2014, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders represented five percent of eligible voters and six percent of the United States resident population, according to Ramakrishnan.

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"The electorate is important, one, for the presidential election, there are a few states like Virginia and Nevada and North Carolina where they will likely help to determine the outcome," Ramakrishnan said. "Even in states with a smaller Asian-American population like Ohio and Florida, they could play a role given how close those races are."

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