The high levels of Latino support for Obama were in line with expectations. The myriad preelection polls from Latino Decisions, the Pew Hispanic Center and many others pointed toward an overwhelming Latino majority in support of the president.
But the fact that nearly three out of every four Asian Americans voted for Obama caught most pundits by surprise. Moreover, Asian Americans, who voted in record numbers in 2008, appear to have mobilized an even higher turnout in 2012. Asian Americans are no longer a swing vote or a crouching tiger in the electorate; their political stripes are now distinctly Democratic blue.
Many people have begun to ask: Why are Asian Americans so Democratic, and how did they get that way? These questions take on greater intrigue when we look at exit poll data over the last two decades. Asian Americans have demonstrated the biggest shift in their presidential voting preferences of any demographic group, whether by race, gender or age. They doubled their vote share for the Democratic candidate, from 31% in 1992 to 62% in 2008, and voted even more Democratic in 2012 (73%).
As political scientists who have analyzed Asian American politics for more than a decade and collaborated on two of the most exhaustive and sustained surveys of Asian American politics in 2008 and 2012, we have some explanations for this dramatic shift.
Source: Los Angeles Times