Asian Americans Voted Democrat: We Should Not Be Surprised

We are delighted to welcome the following guest post by Karthick Ramakrishnan, associate professor of political science at the University of California, Riverside and director of the National Asian American Survey, and  Taeku Lee, professor of political science and law at the University of California, Berkeley and co-principal investigator of the National Asian American Survey.


The 2012 Presidential election did not have much in the way of surprises: Barack Obama won the popular vote and the Electoral College by margins that were close to those predicted by the likes of Nate Silver, Sam Wang, and Simon Jackman.  Also unsurprising was the fact that Obama would repeat his performance among racial and ethnic groups in 2012 as he did in 2008: losing the white vote and yet, still winning the overall vote based on strong support among African Americans and Latinos.  Various polls by news organizations and groups such as Latino Decisions had predicted these racial disparities in support months before Election Day.

What seems to have caught some pundits by surprise was the finding by the National Election Pool that 73% of Asian Americans voted for Obama, second only to African Americans (93%), and slightly higher than Latino support at 71%.  This high level of Asian American support for Obama on Election Day should not have come as much of a surprise, if those same observers had been paying attention to our 2012 National Asian American Survey or even the exit poll results from 2008.

In mid-October, our final pre-election survey report showed that Obama enjoyed a 50%-19% advantage over Romney, with 30% undecided.  While many of the undecided could have broken disproportionately to one candidate over the other, our two-way split (72%) was remarkably consistent with the National Election Pool results, an election eve poll conducted in 3 Asian languages that pegged the Obama vote at 72%, and a post-election poll that our organization will release next week in conjunction with APIA Vote and Asian American Justice Center (with Obama support at 71%).

[Incidentally, the National Election Pool surveys have received the most attention, but they are less representative of the national Asian American population than these other Asian American surveys.  For example, they exclude Hawaii, which accounts for 6% of the Asian American electorate, and have disproportionately smaller number of respondents in states such as Texas and Washington.  They are also conducted only in English and Spanish, while ours covered 10 Asian languages, with nearly 44% of likely voters preferring to take the survey in an Asian language.]

Once the exit poll numbers on Asian Americans began to percolate, a new set of questions cropped up: Why are Asian Americans so Democratic, and why aren’t we seeing more Republicans, especially among the millions of Asian Americans who are high earners?

We provided some answers in a recent op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, where we largely draw attention to actions by the Clinton administration in the 1990s that appealed to Asian American voters, and subsequent “push” factors by a vocal set of Republican officials that portrayed a party as exclusionary on religion and strictly conservative on immigration.  We also show, relying on our 2008 and 2012 data, that the Obama administration enacted policies on issues such as health care, education, and the Iraq War that had overwhelming support among Asian Americans.  He also appointed a record number of Asian Americans, from Cabinet positions to the World Bank, and even his judicial nominations of people like Goodwin Liu received widespread attention and support among Asian American organizations and news media.  Thus, a variety of “push” and “pull” factors on the Republican and Democratic sides, respectively, help explain the dramatic shift in Asian American voters over the last 20 years.

Others have offered different answers to why Asian Americans have shunned the Republican Party.  Some, like David Brooks, have reached for cultural explanations, with Asian Americans coming from countries having decidedly less support for individualism  and less aversion to government.  Others, like Andrew Gelman, have pointed to geographic factors in the United States as potentially explanatory, with Asian Americans highly concentrated in deep-blue states such as California, New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii.

One basic limitation to both of these explanations is that they cannot account for the dramatic shift in Asian American voting behavior, from voting 31% for Clinton in 1992 to 73% for Obama in 2012.  On the geographic explanation, the Asian American electorate was more heavily concentrated in blue states a decade or two ago than today, and so geography-based explanations cannot account much for the 40-point shift in Asian American voter support for the Democratic candidate.  If the notion of culture, particularly tied to one’s homeland, has any resonance, it cannot shift so dramatically in 20 years.  In addition to failing to adequately explaining this over-time change, there are other limitations to these cultural and geographic explanations, which we will explore in future work.

We found two other recent explanations of these Asian American voting patterns that come closer to our own analysis, but fall short for various reasons.  Richard Posner, writing in Slate, brings a variety of hypotheses for why Asian Americans are voting so heavily Democratic: they might favor the incumbent since they are a new electoral group, they are not acting instrumentally (i.e., on the basis of self-interest or group interest), but rather expressively, recoiling at the sight Republicans who they perceive to be hostile to minorities.  While Posner’s argument about the Republican Party resonates with our “push” arguments, his hypothesis about new electorates favoring the incumbent party do not account for why Asian American support for Bush declined from 2000 to 2004.  And Posner’s argument that Asian Americans are not acting instrumentally flies in the face of the evidence we find from 2008 and 2012, where Asian Americans do indeed seem to be rewarding parties and candidates that adopt their favored positions on issues such as health care.

Finally, Charles Murray, writing for AEI, argues that Asian Americans, like many other groups that voted for Obama, see Republicans as “the party of Bible-thumping, anti-gay, anti-abortion creationists,” and thus cannot bring themselves to support Republican candidates.  This assertion, like Posner’s, is in line with our argument regarding “push factors” associated with a vocal set of Republican leaders.  However, Murray is inaccurate in his assertion that Asian Americans would otherwise align with the Republican Party with their support for fiscal conservatism.  Our 2012 survey shows that Asian Americans support increasing taxes to help reduce the federal deficit, and a Pew survey from early 2012 indicated that Asian Americans prefer a bigger government that provides more services to a smaller government providing fewer services (55% to 36%, respectively), almost the mirror opposite to the U.S. average (39% vs. 52%, respectively).

Much remains to be learned about the Asian American electorate, and we are excited to see more interest in the topic within academic and beyond.  To those interested in getting up to speed on what we already know about Asian American political behavior, we would recommend the following books: Asian American Political Participation, The Politics of Asian Americans, Democracy’s Promise, Why Americans Don’t Join the Party, Democracy in Immigrant America; articles by Wendy Tam Cho, Janelle Wong, Pei-te Lien, and Christian Collet; and public datasets such as the 2001 Pilot National Asian American Political Survey and the 2008 National Asian American Survey.

Note: post was updated with graphics a few minutes after initial posting


33 Responses to Asian Americans Voted Democrat: We Should Not Be Surprised

  1. Andrew Gelman November 29, 2012 at 11:25 am #

    Hi–just to be clear, I did not say that geography was the whole story: “This doesn’t by itself explain why Obama got so much of the Asian vote—but it’s not a surprise that members of a minority group concentrated in urban areas on the Pacific coast and the Northeast are mostly voting for Democrats.” I agree with what you write above that it is important to study changes over time as well.

    • buddyglass November 29, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

      What’s the trend in Asian-American voting behavior over this same period *in red states*? There are plenty of Asian-Americans in states like Texas, albeit concentrated in urban areas. We should probably expect that they’re “more red” than their counterparts in blue states, but how have their voting habits changed over time? Have they gotten “less red” in keeping with the overall trend for Asian-Americans nationally?

  2. E Huang November 29, 2012 at 11:51 am #

    This has a lot of analysis why 70% percent of Asians voted Democrat from 30% 20 years ago. Though really IMO it comes down to this:

    If you were in a dark alley about to be lynched by anti-asian racists- which political party do you think they would most likely belong to? Vote for the other one.

    • jaehyun November 29, 2012 at 9:44 pm #


      • David December 3, 2012 at 3:08 pm #

        What your comment really shows is basically the other hypothesis that nobody has broached:

        Asians have become assimilated.

        By I mean by that is that modern day America does not seek assimilation. It seeks multiculturalism. In other words; you’re supposed not only to be different, if you’re a racial minority you should push to the maximum by being a victim, etc.

        All the talk about “out of many, one” is just bogus. America hasn’t de facto pursued that policy for decades and in the wake of post-1968, it has become more and more culturally radicalized. And Asians, which held on to the old assimilationist ideal out of ignorance(noble ignorance I might add) actually started to understand as time went on that to truly assimilate, there was a new ideal in town.

        And that means, all the evil in the world is because of evil white men(who all vote for the GOP). Never mind the fact that the most powerful white men tend to be democrats. Wall St has historically been much closer to the Democratic party(Obama won their endorsment by over 2-1 over McCain in 2008 and his loss with them in the last election was lower than much of the media reported). Silicon Valley is filled with Democrats, many of them white men who have become multibillionaires. Warren Buffett is a democratic.

        So all these rich, white men are all voting for the left. So what gives?

        My point is that as Asians assimilated, they bought into the liberal mythmaking. All the Republicans are evil racists out to get all the minorities. And they had no choice but to buy into this mythmaking, since at universities and the media, it is all over the place. Hence the visceral reaction that you posted.

        Yet, it doesn’t explain why Asians voted for the GOP up until the mid-1990s. Were all Asians from the mid-1960s(when the Asian immigration began in earnest, even if there were Asians here before) to the mid-1990s total idiots? Or were they perhaps more rational than liberal dogma would let on.

        Here, I give them the benefit of the doubt. Have Republicans, then, become far more evil and racist in the past 20 years? Well, the GOP has become more extreme on social issues like abortion. But on racial/minority issues, the GOP doesn’t even today entertain the thought of abolishing affirmative action, for example, something that was mainstream as late as 1996.

        My point is that you are reacting with your emotions, your brain has been groomed -there is no other word for it – to think in a stereotypical, liberal dogmatic way. I don’t blame you. It, the constant liberal propaganda, has really saturated the airwaves and if you don’t know any large number of Republicans, you start to form empty stereotypes and caricatures of them in your own head to replace a more nuanced, fuller portrait that is more complicated than a few slogans.

        This is the fruit of hard labor for decades. After liberalism had its short triumph in the 1960s, the country turned right. Liberals had no where to go, they were in the clear minority. Conservatives never dominated universities, or the media, for instance. But there was no emnity between left and right in either place. And liberals back then were so-called ‘cold war liberals’. Pragmatists.

        What happened, we all know. Now the roles, after decades, have been switched. Conservatives are now in a systematic minority. The smearing has taken its toll on mallable brains. I still give it another election before we see serious change. Namely; by that time, the GOP will start to do a serious evolution. The social conservative crazies will be kicked out, but it won’t be sufficient. Because no matter how much the GOP ‘moderates’ it will never be given a fair hearing. At best it could be a warmed-over second-rate liberal sidedish if it followed all the ‘advice’ given to it by the liberal press. If it will have to have a chance it has to realize the power of the media has over irrational human minds, like your own(and mine), and how it does this through emotional manipulation.

        It doesn’t matter what the facts are. If you repeat: Republcians are racists on endless repeat all day, every day, the message will stick if there is no counter-balance.

        But even beyond that, there should be a larger discussion about where the cultural left is heading. Last year the country had a majority of non-white births. Already, we’re a nation of minorities at the lowest age and climbing. So much of the cultural left’s rhetoric is based on the canard of the ‘evil white racist man’. Okay, but what happens when he is in the clear minority at the highest instututions and whites in general? Already, non-Jewish whites are about 18% of the Harvard population. Slightly more than there are Asians, slightly less than there are Jews. And then you got blacks and hispanics.

        What is, to put it crudely, plan B when you can’t credibly demonize another ethnic group as successfully, because when it too becomes a minority, it becomes to be seen for what it is: racism.

        How can you build your ethnic identity if it isn’t based on demonization and fear? Of dear, it seems you actually have to do something much harder: positive community-building. And then, you have to base something on less than fear or hatred and more on what you got in common. Better hope that you can unite various minorties, including the white minority(in 10-20 years) into a single cohesive collective. Because so far it’s based on demonization. And if the cultural left can’t do that, because it is convenient to demonize another ethnic group for all the ills in the world, despite the racist undertones ever-present, then, it will be very hard to convince an ever-shrinking white population that they have to accept all this demonization and rancid hatred because ‘they’re much more powerful’ when that line of argument becomes impossible to defend. And what then?

        It isn’t hard to see where this is heading. A total train-wreck.

        Thank the left. You voted for them.

        • Deborah December 4, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

          So your theory is that Asian Americans, who as a group are incapable of forming positive communities and are instead driven by hate and fear, were stupidly brainwashed into believing Republicans have some sort of prejudice against them?

          Gosh that is one interesting theory.

  3. Karthick Ramakrishnan November 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    Hi Andy,

    Point well taken that geography was offered as a potential explanation, not a primary one. We didn’t have room in this piece to address the claim in more detail (it’s long enough as it is), but our participation and presidential vote data from 2008 and 2012 don’t show much effects by geography (we spent a whole chapter on it in our 2008 book, and even in the most basic and most generous analysis, geography didn’t pan out).

    I just ran a simple bivariate analysis of our 2012 data, to see whether those living in CA/NY/NJ/HI were more likely to say they were voting Obama than those elsewhere, and find no significant difference. Dan Hopkins and Jonathan Mummolo have seen whether there are any geographic patterns (by coethnic density) to factors such as reports of discrimination in several surveys of Latinos and Asian Americans and have found none.

    This all suggests that the experience of race (and, to some extent, national origin) may be more predictive of behavior for Asian Americans than geography.

    • Karthick Ramakrishnan November 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Meant to say book based on our 2008 data (the RSF book).

    • Andre Kenji November 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

      I think that geography may be more predictive in another aspect: Aren´t Asians more likely to live in cities, to be younger and to be single?

      • Karthick Ramakrishnan November 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

        Yes, they’re less likely to be rural, are younger (though the gap among adult citizens for Asians and non-Asians is only about 3 years for the weighted mean). Among adult citizens, they’re more likely to be married.

        In terms of predictive power, population density (at the zip code level) is not predictive of the 2008 vote. I think there are good reasons to think that geography may be more influential on white attitudes than nonwhite attitudes if, say, things like racial discrimination are more relevant than whether one has access to ethnic shopping districts.

        Regardless, these geographic explanations cannot account for the huge shift in voting patterns over time–Asian Americans are not moving so fast, and the states themselves are not changing so rapidly in their voting trends. Big exception is California, but the self-inflicted wounds of the GOP on racial issues there is a big part of the explanation of why California has become so solidly blue.

  4. Nils Rump November 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    Some one … please give us the stats on level of education corralated with the tendency to vote DEM or REP … bet quite a bit that the heigher the level of education the higher the tendency to vote DEM … goes to show that enlightenment leands to better choice!

    • Andrew Straticzuk November 29, 2012 at 4:56 pm #

      I totally agree with that. In the end, there can be numerous contributing factors that determine why an individual pulls the lever for Romney or Obama down to what side of the bed the individual got up that day. So we can endlessly marshal out this or that factor that might have been contributory.
      Having said that, it seems rather far-fetched that geographic location can ever be a causitive factor simpliciter. So living in an urban area might expose an individual to a more cosmopolitan environment in which–among other things–intelligence carries a higher premium . So it is not the location that is causative but the nature of the social environment that happens to exists in that location that is the proper causative factor. Minor point.
      I do think that the way the Romney campaign and Republican talking points in general insult our intelligence is a causative factor. Or at least it is so with me.
      This is not to say that considerably intelligent people might yet be blinded by self-interest, prejudice, religious belief etc.

      • Taeku Lee November 29, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

        Nils, as loathe as I might be to say this given my own partisanship, the hypothesis that education is positively related to liking Dems is probably another enlightenment myth. Or, at minimum, it is a more complicated story than that. Most of the studies I know of either find no effect or the opposite effect.

        There are many ways to cut at this. At the broadest, across-time aggregate covariance level: educational attainment in the US measured by share of the total population who have achieved a college degree has risen pretty steadily over the last several decades, which is a period in which aggregate levels of Democratic party identification has fallen.

        OK, so that is an obviously a bad way to look at this. Another in which the myth is not sustained is to consider between-group variation. Two racially-defined groups with relatively low mean rates of educational attainment — African Americans and Latinos — are also two groups with relatively high mean rates of Democratic identification. So that further complicates things, but that’s also a bad way to look at this.

        What about within-group variation, or at the individual, multivariate level? It is also not sustained. General studies of mass publics and party identification either find no effect of education or find that those with less than a high school education are more likely to identify as Dems than those with a college education (works as a cross-tab; holds in multivariate analysis). In the group-specific studies I know of (i.e., of African American, Latino, Asian American partisanship), I think this is also the case.

        So, much as Dems might like to think that better educational outcomes produced more Dems, a lot of the studies I know of do not seem to bear this out. Now, it is important to note that I also don’t know of a single study that looks quite explicitly at this question — that is, in which the research is properly designed to draw an inference about the relationship between education and partisanship that we might really believe. In most cases, I am reporting on x-tabs and reading into multivariate tables of analysis conducted to answer some other research question.

        But that also points to a more difficult piece of the puzzle; namely, getting at what the mechanisms might be linking educational outcomes to Democratic partisanship, even if there were a robust relationship there. Enlightenment? Maybe, but it could be a whole host of other things. And even if were truly enlightenment that’s at work, why do we think educational attainment is an unproblematic measure of enlightenment? (Would Joe Plumber have to go to UC-Berkeley to be so enlightened?)

        Anyway, it is complicated. And to further reinforce just how complicated it is, another enlightenment myth that the evidence might not bear out is that there is a relationship between education and _democracy_. That is, that nations with higher educational outcomes are more likely to be robust democracies. At least if we find some recent studies by Ed Glaeser and Acemoglu/Robinson and colleagues convincing, even that association is likely to be a spurious one.

    • Matt Jarvis November 29, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

      Here is the rough cut at the data, controlling for nothing:

      In every year (except 1956), the less-than-high-school crowd voted the most Democratic. Since they’re increasingly a smaller proportion of the population, if we focus on HS vs college grads, there are years in which there’s no real difference, but the tendency is towards an effect of education being correlated with more GOP voting. Naturally, there are effects from income, race and gender going on in there, but the blanket statement that the higher educated vote more Democratic isn’t true.

      • John November 30, 2012 at 10:26 am #

        A couple of points:

        Firstly, it is my understanding that, while the whole pool of college graduates tend to be more Republican, those with graduate degrees are the opposite, more Democratic than the country as a whole.

        Secondly, it is also my understanding that, once you correct for income, the correlation between education and Republican voting disappears entirely, and is even reversed. Wealthy college graduates vote more democratic than wealthy non-college graduates; poor college graduates vote more democratic than poor non-college graduates.

        • Karthick Ramakrishnan November 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

          See Gelman’s post on this very question today. Interacting education with income is key.

  5. Nolan McCarty November 29, 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    Karthik: I would also conjecture that the composition of Asian-Americans in terms of national origin, human capital, and upward mobility may also have changed. I presume that as a group, Asian-Americans are less Korean and Japanese and more rural Chinese, Vietnamese and Philippine (with correspondingly less wealth and human capital). Is there any data that can estimate how much the composition effect and change in SES affects the shift in behavior?

    • Taeku Lee November 29, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Nolan, a very interesting surmise and one worth delving more deeply into that I can here. You are right that Koreans and Japanese, over the last several decades, have comprised a smaller proportion of the total Asian American population. And that by comparison, other groups like Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and Asian Indians have comprised a higher proportion.

      At least two things complicate this compositional story. The first is that two of the groups you mention — Vietnamese and Filipinos — are also the two most even split in their partisanship. Historically, there have been more Republican Vietnamese-Americans than Democratic Vietnamese-Americans and we find, between our 2008 and 2012 surveys, that Filipinos are actually becoming _more_ Republican over this time span.

      On that note, the 2008 and 2012 comparison is the other telling complication to the compositional story. We find within group changes between these two time periods that compositional change along cannot account for. So even with a group like Korean-Americans, for whom in-migration rates have greatly slowed, there is a noticeable jump in Democratic partisanship.

      That said, the sampling frames for our 2008 and 2012 surveys are not identical. And we’d have to do finer grained analysis of our data than we’ve yet had the chance to do to really get at whether a compositional story holds water or not.

    • Karthick Ramakrishnan November 30, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Hi Nolan,
      We don’t know what regions within a country they are coming from, but we can do comparisons by education and income (at least comparing 2008 and 2012 and, to some extent the 2001 PNAAPS data). We also have year-of-origin data to do cohort analysis, which might reveal some interesting patterns.

      Just looking at historical trend data on education, though, the Asian immigration stream is MORE highly educated upon entry into the US, not less (see this Pew report, where it goes from 31% with a BA in 1980 to 60% starting in 2000).

    • evnow November 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

      Nolan: One of the important things to understand about legal immigration now is that only highly skilled people get H1 visa. They marry and bring along fairly well educated spouses as well. They are the ones after a decade or so getting naturalized and starting to vote.

  6. Prem November 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    The Republican brand is contaminated by the likes of Trump and Limbaugh.

    Trump’s birthirism is seen as crude racism and the fact that Romney associated himself with this clown did him great harm.

    The anti-intellectualism of large segments of the GOP has no appeal to Asians. The fact that Obama went to Harvard is a plus in the eyes of Asians but massive minus for much of the GOP’s base. There just isn’t much in common between the world views of these groups.

    Every casually racist jerk we come across is a fan of Rush – why would we want to vote for their man?

    • Native American Independent June 13, 2013 at 11:40 am #

      Wow, you must be democratic party clown to say such tripe! Birtherism is racist? Give me a break! Anyone with an ounce of sense knows that Obama has not been forthcoming about his birth credentials. Rather, his latest attempt is a crude forgery.

      I’m not convinced that Obama is an alien, but it’s intelligent to remain skeptical about his status without more scrutiny and better proof.

  7. Conrad November 29, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    As an Asian American who is highly successful and leaned toward the Republican party in the Reagan and Bush I years, it has become apparent to me that the Republican party has been taken over by the Dixicrats that was part of the strategy of the Republican party.

    The current Republican party represents ideals that are the antithesis of what I would consider most Asian cultures (of course this is so ridiculous to lump Asians together – so many different nationalities, cultures and religions) are and of those who came to America to live the American dream.

    1) Education is important and higher education is paramount – republicans view colleges as liberal bastions and denigrate intellectual
    2) Science is one of the most important areas of study and should be reverered – republicans view science as a belief and ridicule what science teaches.
    3) Religion is an important part of life, but it is not meant to be preached or dictated to other people. It is an individual’s choice
    4) Family is taking care about everyone. In many countries such as Korea, China and Japan, the government provides basic healthcare to most people. In almost all of the industrialized world, government covers basic healthcare (EU, Canada, Australia) and only the US leaves a significant portion of people not covered – This seems unAmerican and those who look at the christians have a hard time understanding that this is what Jesus would do.
    5) Abortion. This is an individual choice and not to be dictated by the government. – Republicans are pushing a theocratic society that is no different than what the islamists are doing. This is why the founding fathers were so specific to separate church and state.
    6) Immigration. We all believe that you should follow the process but we understand the real world that the realities push people to do what they need to do. In reality, weren’t the pilgrims illegal immigrants also?
    7) Conservatives. Yes, almost all Asians are fiscal conservatives and to many extent social conservatives. However, neither party has shown any real fiscal conservatism. Democrats lean toward entitlements and unions vs Republicans (at this time) toward protecting the banks and the military industrial complex. Asian social conservatism doesn’t mean evangelical conservatism.
    8) Freedom.. Democrats appear (mostly) to protect individual freedoms (abortion, religion, etc) and Republicans are protecting corporate freedoms (anti-reform, regulation, taxation, Citizens United)

    Lastly, the Republican party just seems to be angry all the time… who wants that???

    • W.R.P. November 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

      I had a member of a fairly large Asian family attend the meeting of the local Progressive Democratic club. When talking with him, he said “I am a conservative. My family is conservative. The Republican’s pretend to be conservative, but they are little more than the same people who we got away from (in China). They talk a good game, wave the flag, and they are just about making their friends rich. Liberals you can normally talk out of bad ideas. When you can’t, you can be sure they won’t come back to blame you for their mistakes.”- paraphrasing a bit on the last part, as their was an expression he used in Chinese (and explained to me) which boiled down to “idiot who you tried to warn, but didn’t listen and now blames you” as a type of person they wanted to avoid.

      • Native American Independent June 13, 2013 at 11:48 am #

        Great post! I don’t agree that liberals can be talked out of bad ideas–i.e. Obamacare, which may destroy our economy. And liberals are even more supportive of cronyism than any republicans, so that doesn’t wash.

        Still, republicans don’t have a record of nominating presidential-candidate conservatives (none have really been conservative since Reagan).

        I submit that asians tend to watch the drive by media instead of Fox and tend to be low-information voters, since so many are immigrants and hence are young. Those asians who listen to limbaugh have problems with his tone and it takes listening to him a while to get to where he doesn’t bother them. Limbaugh is emphatically not racist. My wife is asian and now likes him, but initially she had problems with his tone.

        Limbaugh’s facts are exceedingly accurate and he far outshines the drive-by media in his accuracy. His minor missteps are blown way out of proportion and he readily acknowledges his mistakes, which the drive-by media tends not to do (cough-Benghazi-cough).

  8. Brian Parker November 30, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    As a US citizen who has resided and worked in Asia for the last 4 years I can tell you 80% + support Obama. In fact I was at an Election Day event at the American Club and of the 300+ people in attendance it was very difficult to find a Romney supporter. The various reporters from Channel News Asia and the like we’re running throughout the room to find a Romney supporter to Interview. There are many reasons, not the least of which is that US fiscal policy is not high on their list of concerns. But what is high on the list is someone who 1) they feel relates well to the broader Asian community, 2) doesn’t rush to conflict, and 3) is more measured in approach. It also probably didn’t do Romney any favor with the consistent anti China comments.

  9. lgjhere November 30, 2012 at 2:46 am #

    An interesting new book that helps explain the role, struggles, and contributions of immigrants and minorities is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to understand crazy American culture, people, government, business, language and more.” It paints a revealing picture of America for those who will benefit from a better understanding. Endorsed by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it also informs Americans who want to learn more about the U.S. and how we compare to other countries around the world on many issues.
    As the book points out, immigrants and minorities are a major force in America, as the GOP recently discovered. Immigrants and the children they bear account for 60 percent of our nation’s population growth and own 11 percent of US businesses and are 60 percent more likely to start a new business than native-born Americans. They represent 17 percent of all new business owners (in some states more than 30 percent). Foreign-born business owners generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California and nearly one-fifth in the states of New York, Florida, and New Jersey.
    Legal immigrants number 850,000 each year; undocumented (illegal) immigrants are estimated to be half that number. They come to improve their lives and create a foundation of success for their children to build upon, as did the author’s grandparents when they landed at Ellis Island in 1899 after losing 2 children to disease on a cramped cattle car-like sailing from Europe. Many bring skills and a willingness to work hard to make their dreams a reality, something our founders did four hundred years ago. In describing America, chapter after chapter identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and contributed to our society. However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance, be they in Anytown or Zenith, USA. Perhaps intelligent immigration reform, concerned Americans and books like this can extend a helping hand.

    • Native American Independent June 13, 2013 at 11:57 am #

      “Immigrants…own 11 percent of US businesses and are 60 percent more likely to start a new business than native-born Americans.”

      Isn’t it interesting that these same people, who ostensibly are small-businessmen, vote for the party that is against their interests instead of for the party that supports their interests? The republicans have supported policies friendly to small business for decades.

      Asians tend to be legal immigrants, from what I have seen. Amnesty increases the number of workers, depressing wages of both native-born and legal immigrants. Both dems and repub political favor amnesty, though not the native-born (whites, blacks, hispanics–here native-born asians diverge from the rest). Dems like amnesty because it increases the number of poor workers who will vote democratic and republican business donors like amnesty because it increases their profit margin.

      I submit that asians tend to follow the lead of their liberal community leaders, who were galvanized and organized by George Soros’ political organizations for the last presidential election.

  10. Wonks Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    The drop in Asian support for Republicans is probably due to the drop in the portion of Asians who are Christian:

  11. Wonks Anonymous November 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Doh, the Discover site is screwing up the url, it should be

  12. morley winograd November 30, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    Great analysis. Here is our report on this emerging but usually overlooked force in American politics from National Journal yesterday.

  13. RichS December 5, 2012 at 4:58 pm #

    To: Prem

    You Hit the Nail right on the Head! Could not have been said better.

  14. Native American Independent June 13, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    You failed to compare the absolute numbers of asians voting in your graphs. It would be nice to see how their absolute numbers are trending. And how are the mix of asians changing? Are there more arabs, pakistanis, indians, chinese, filipinos or what? What are the trends?

    And you need to also consider the long-term decline in white fecundity and the short-term decline in overall U.S. fecundity and how those impact elections trends.