Move over Hispanics…Here comes the Asian vote

A great deal of emphasis has been placed on the Latino vote in the upcoming presidential election in November, as has been the case in past elections.  In 2008, Barack Obama received 67 percent of the vote compared to Arizona Sen. John McCain who received only 31 percent.  And if you recall, McCain had been in favor of some kind of immigration reform back in the past.  But Hispanics still decided to rally around a Democrat and helped to elect Obama.
Hispanic voter summit
But that is 2008 and this is 2012 when things have changed radically.  We weren’t sure yet but the wheels were already beginning to come off the economy and we took a nose dive economically, Latinos taking a harder hit than others.  Also in this period, the President deported more immigrants than any other President before him.  That didn’t sit well in the Hispanic community, but they were still more concerned over jobs, the economy and education.
Hispanic News reports that “…21.5 million Latino citizen adults will be eligible to vote in November 2012, up from 19.5 million in 2008.”   HN predicts that if the rates of registration continue as they are, that means 8 million more Hispanic voters.  This site also provides a breakdown of the number of eligible Latino voters by state, as well as the numbers of those not registered.  Currently, polls favor Obama over Mitt Romney by a 63% to 27% margin.
Next, enter the Asian population which, according to a recent Pew Research Center study, is the largest group of new arrivals in the U.S.  Asians passed Latinos in 2010 at a rate of 36 percent new immigrants to 31 percent for Hispanics.  Asians represent 4.9 percent of the total U.S. population, Latinos 16.3 percent.  Pew says that in 2008 the vote was broken down, white 76.3%, black 12.1%, Hispanic 7.4% and Asian 2.5%.
Karthick Ramakrishnan, a political scientist at the U. of California, Riverside, and an expert on Asian-American immigration and civic participation commented that, “…if the trends continue, Asian-Americans will play greater roles in shaping American society and perhaps, more significantly in an election year, they will have an impact at the polls.”  Another key point by Ramakrishnan was the fact that far fewer Asian Americans enter the U.S. illegally than do Latinos.
Other findings by Pew included, “Asian-Americans are more satisfied than any other Americans with their lives, finances and direction of the country.  ‘They also place more value on traditional marriage, family and parenthood and usually possess a strong work ethic.  ‘And 93% of Asian-Americans describe people of their origin as ‘very hard-working,’ whereas only 57% said the same about Americans as a whole.”  They are also the best educated in American history.



3.4 million Asians voted in 2008



Asian-Americans attain college degrees (61%) at about double the rate of recent non-Asian immigrants (30%), and they are willing to make big sacrifices for the education of their children.  Asian median annual household income is $66,000 versus $49,800 for all Americans.  And here is the good part; most Asians tend to vote for Democrats, except for the Vietnamese, who are also now beginning to lean left.  This will be a solid group for the Dems in the future.

There are two swing states that could be significant in terms of Asian population in the November vote.  In Virginia, 5.6% of the population is Asian and in Nevada it is 7.9%.  When you combine that with Hispanic populations in those two states of 7.95 for Virginia and 26.5 for Nevada, you begin to see how the Democrats will be able to chip away at votes from the GOP in small to large increments.  If the Dems lock up the female vote, Republicans will have a real fight on their hands.

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