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Research Report

Publication Date



The Institute for Asian American Studies’ report on political contributions by Asian Americans in the 2002 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign represented the first time that these contributions were systematically reported and analyzed.1 In that election, Asian Americans constituted 1.0% of all individual contributions. In terms of dollar value, those contributions accounted for 1.1% of the total dollar amount contributed. This report follows that initial study by examining Asian American political contributions to candidates for governor in 2014.

The 2014 governor’s race was energized by the fact that two-term incumbent Deval Patrick chose not to seek re-election. Patrick’s decision touched off a spirited effort, particularly on the Democratic side, to select a nominee. The race also attracted candidates from parties outside of the Republican–Democratic mainstream—Evan Falchuk, Scott Lively, and Jeffrey McCormick. On the Republican side, Charlie Baker easily prevailed over Mark Fisher to secure the nomination. The Democratic primary was hotly contested among Donald Berwick, Martha Coakley, and Steve Grossman with Coakley prevailing as the Democrat’s standard bearer. In the final election, Baker defeated Coakley.

The number of Asian American contributions in 2014 was 1,221. This figure was nearly double the number of contributions, 644, in 2002. Furthermore, the growth in Asian American contributions was significantly greater than the growth of overall contributions. Asian American contributions accounted for 1.1% of all contributions in 2014.

The total dollar value of Asian American contributions rose to $297,884 in 2014 from $121,030 in 2002. The average Asian American contribution in 2014 rose as well to $243.97 from $187.93.

The aggregate data on Asian American giving is augmented in this report by detailed information on number and dollar value of Asian American contributions to individual candidates who were active in the primary and final elections. Baker received the largest number of Asian American contributions followed by Coakley and then Grossman and Berwick.



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