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.
"President Obama has delivered from Day One: access to affordable health care, the ability to pursue the American dream, and most importantly, creating jobs. In the last four years, the lives of people in my life have gotten better because of the policies that President Obama has implemented for the middle class—my sister, for example, just graduated and she can now stay on our parents’ health care.
"We intend to mobilize in our Asian American community—in a key battleground state like Virginia, our community could be the margin of victory. We’ll work really hard to make sure the President wins."
—Linh from Fairfax, Virginia, waits to see President Obama at today’s event
We’re building the AAPI for Obama community every day — and now, there’s a special new tool that’ll help people in our communities get ready to vote.
If you don’t have a Dashboard account already, it will take only a couple seconds to get you up and running.
Dashboard is a brand new way to organize, coordinate, and reach out at the grassroots level. We can make calls, organize house parties and canvasses, and check in as a team to plan our next steps. I hope you and fellow AAPI supporters of the President can help roll it out.
We have a unique role to play in this election, and now we have the tools to make sure our community has President Obama’s back once voting starts. So join us on Dashboard today, and let’s start putting this new field office to work.
South Asians for Obama (SAFO) is a grassroots movement that succeeded in mobilizing the South Asian American community to elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Through this website, and in cities and neighborhoods across the country, we are working to engage our entire community to take a more active role in the political process. We invite you to be part of this effort as we embark upon the 2012 re-election campaign.
Korean Americans for Obama (KAFO) is a grassroots organization that works to mobilize the Korean American community for the re-election of President Barack Obama. Formed in 2011, KAFO conducts outreach nationwide to engage the Korean American community, get out the vote and support the President’s agenda. KAFO is committed to building upon the Obama campaign’s proud tradition of grassroots activism for the 2012 election.
Obama for America | Leah Sandals
From early childhood to college, President Obama is expanding access to quality education for AAPIs. Learn more about the Obama administration’saccomplishments for the AAPI community.
Obama for America | By Elizabeth Zaretsky on June 19, 2012
Tax cuts and small business loans are just some of the ways in which President Obama is fighting for the middle class. For the Asian American and Pacific Islander community alone, that means 19,000 small business loans and bigger paychecks for 7.6 million workers.
Check out how the President’s accomplishments have benefited Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at AAPI for Obama.