Are “LatinAsians” A New Political Voting Bloc?

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 This past Sunday afternoon, MSNBC’s Richard Liu spoke with  Christine Chen from Asian American and Pacific Islander American Vote (AAPIA) Vote, Karthick Ramakrishnan from the University of California-Riverside and NBC Latino’s Sandra Lilley about the recent presidential election results, in particular the Latino and Asian American vote, which overwhelmingly voted for Obama 71% and 73% respectively for President Obama according to national exit polls.

Lui reports that Latinos and Asian Americans could make up 1 in 4 voters in 2016,  though that does sound high. In 2012, Latinos for the first time made up 10% of the electorate and Asian Americans made up about 3% nationally (African Americans made up 13% of the electorate). Although Asian Americans have the fastest grow rate of any ethnic group in the U.S this past decade, Latinos in absolute numbers are much larger. The aging demographics of Latinos to voting age must be exploding if Latinos and Asian Americans are going to comprise of 25% of the electorate in 2016. No wonder why Republicans are worried about the Latino vote – as the saying goes, demographics is destiny.

Lui goes on to say that 53% of Latinos and 74% of Asian American voters were born abroad and 76% of Latinos and 80% if Asian Americans consider English as their second language. To be honest, I am unfamiliar with the stats for the Latino community, but the figures for the Asian American community sounded suspiciously high, until I reviewed again the recent Pew Research report over the summer collaborating these figures.

I’m not sure that the coined term “LatinAsians” is going to stick though. Although there is some correlation and similarities as highlighted in the above statistics and voting patterns, I’m not sure there is actually much cross community collaboration between the two. Both communities have had different historic and current immigration patterns to the United States and haven’t necessarily crossed paths much from my knowledge.

Latinos have always also leaned more Democratic than Asian Americans – which have swung from being predominately Republican to predominately Democratic the past twenty years (a subject that I will be exploring in the near future). Both communities do share something in common: a good portion are unaffiliated, not registered as a Republican or a Democrat. We’ll see if “LatinAsians” will emerg as a voting bloc term, but I’m doubtful. I think “rainbow coalition,” inclusive of the African American and other minority communities is probably a more established and appropriate term to us.

I thought The Daily Show did a great take American history lesson on: “a fevered ruling class lamenting the rise of a diverse new class that will destroy the American experiment” (which has been increasingly expressed on the Right and especially the Far Right) in this segment below:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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In true hilarious yet educational manner, Jon Stewart illustrates the historic changing nature of America and the American electorate growing concern by the establishment.

On another note, if Christine Chen sounds familiar, she should, since I had blogged about her during my trip to the 2012 Democratic National Convention, where the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) honored Chen for her work at APIAVote.  Karthick Ramakrishnan was the Director and Principal Investigator for the 2012 National Asian American Survey and is an associate professor at UC-Riverside.

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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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