Much has been reported on regarding the 2012 presidential election regarding the Asian American vote, including MSNBC’s Richard Lui. I had the chance to briefly meet and chat with him after a panel at the National Association of Asian American Professionals national conference back a few years ago – right as he was transitioning from CNN to MSNBC. This past week, Lui penned an op-ed in The Seattle Times discussing the Asian American swing vote:
“Just look at the opportunity in the battleground states in the presidential race between President Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney. In Florida, Asian Americans are 3 percent of the population, according to the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice — small, but Obama won the state by 2.5 percent in 2008. In Nevada, they are 9 percent of the population; Obama won that state by 12.4 percent in the last election. In Virginia, where they are 7 percent; Obama won by 6.3 percent four years ago.”
Nothing too new from what I have blogged about before. The National Asian American Survey did say that over 30% of Asian Americans are shockingly and surprisingly undecided. However, I was most shocked to read in the op-ed is that Asian Americans donated to political campaigns in the last election, at 13 percent (11 percent so far thus year), which is the same percentage as white donors (and that African Americans donated at 8 percent and Latino Americans at 5 percent).
I’ve been to many political fundraisers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I’m not sure – unless the candidate was an Asian American – that you would see 10% of Asian Americans at any fundraiser or rally I have attended for John Kerry in 2004, or for John Edwards, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in 2008. It was more like a handful of Asian Americans, which motivated me to become more involved.