Will Asian Americans Be 2012’s Stealth Swing Vote?

Although Asian Americans make up almost 6% of the U.S. population, you might not think that we might be “swing voters” that could help determine the next president of the United States this fall. Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote (AAPI Vote) and the Asian American Justice Center conducted a recent survey, and from the results:

“In swing states such as Nevada, Florida, and Virginia, the Asian-American vote could prove decisive. The poll oversampled voters in those states and found a closer race than nationally: In Nevada, it was Obama 54, Romney 29; in Florida, it was 57-29; and in Virginia, 57-20.”

There are a growing Asian American population in those states and it would be interesting to see if indeed the election was called due to Asian American swing voters. The report also goes on to detail how both major political parties have essentially ignored the Asian American voter. Not necessarily a wise thing…

NPR last week also interviewed one of the co-authors of the report, Mee Moua, president of the Asian American Justice Center (She’s also the first Asian American to elected into the Minnesota State Senate). The most interesting tidbit was:

“We found similar trends with higher numbers of independent voters. To the question of what’s happening to Asian-American voters over time, if you look at the data from, for example, the National Election Poll which is the exit poll data conducted after – at the polling places after Americans vote, you’ll see that between 1992 and 2008 the proportion of Asian-Americans voting Democratic has basically doubled, from 31 percent in 1992 up until 62 percent voting for the Democratic candidate in 2008.”

When asked, Moua ultimately did not give any real good reason why. I think I have theorized that, in comparison to the overall American national average, Asian Americans are more well educated, and those who have more education, tend to lean Democratic. Additionally, a good number of Asian Americans live in “blue” states, as well as more live in urban centers, which also lean Democratic.


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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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