Asian Americans overwhelmingly for Obama
The must unkindest cut to the Romney campaign was when the poster children of immigrants – the well educated, entrepreneurially-minded Indians and the equally hard working East Asian immigrants –voted overwhelmingly for Obama. The Asian American Legal Defense and Education reported that 73% of Asian Americans voted for Obama. That’s up from 62% in 2008. Two decades ago, Asian-Americans went 2-to-1 for Republicans.
Obama was strongest among Indian-American voters, leading Romney by a margin of 76 to 8 percent in the poll, and weakest among Filipino Americans, where the vote was 57 percent to 20 percent. Among Chinese Americans, it was 68 percent for Obama, 8 percent for Romney
In April The Atlantic had already noted that these immigrants posed a challenge to the Republicans. 44% of eligible Asian Americans has voted in 2008, up from 44% in 2004. And their population grew by 43% between 2000 and 2010. Obama won 62% of their vote in 2008. Today Asian Americans are about 3% of the electorate nationally, and about 10% in California.
In a poll on the weekend before the November election, the vast majority of Asian American voters (58%) said that fixing the economy and creating more jobs was the most important issue that politicians should address. Health care and education reform were each cited by 20% of Asian American voters as the most important issue, followed by civil rights/immigration issues (13%).
On election day, exit polls showed at least 70 percent of Asian-American voters chose Obama. Two decades ago, Asian-Americans reported voting Republican by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, said UC Berkeley political scientist Taeku Lee.
Vietnamese voter sentiment shifted toward Obama, though most still identify with the Republican Party. Filipinos shifted more toward Romney. But two of the largest groups of Asian-American voters -- Chinese-Americans and Indian-Americans -- are now unmistakably Democratic.