Newt Gingrich has determined that the Asian vote will help win him the Republican primaries, so he headed to California to lock it up.
He’ll host a series of meetings with Thai, Korean and Chinese community leaders in the Los Angeles area on Thursday, put together with the help of Michelle Steel, a Korean-American who’s vice chair of the California State Board of Equalization.
Gingrich is also planning to do a roundtable with Vietnamese leaders in northern Virginia at the end of the month.
“We are still new with the Asian-American community, so we’re just starting to break in,” said Michelle Selesky, Gingrich’s deputy press secretary, who is heading up his Asian-American outreach.
The campaign says Gingrich has been inspired by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s success in reaching out to the Hmong, Koreans and other ethnic groups.
And he’s got early state success on his mind: Gingrich has been talking for months about the untapped potential of the Chinese community in Iowa, thanks to a local Chinese activist who told him in January that as many as 10,000 Chinese Americans live in the state — a number the Census Bureau pegs at 1.7 percent of the Hawkeye State population. Gingrich also sees what could be the state’s next immigrant boom in the University of Iowa’s large number of international students from China, though it’s not clear how many of them are citizens and able to vote.
Nice to see some Republicans think the Asian American market should not be ignored any longer! What an untapped resource for politicians!