The emergence of Asian Americans as the fastest-growing immigrant group in the United States, eclipsing Hispanics, has far-reaching implications on many facets of American life, most immediately election-year politics.
As Asian Americans displace Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants, they are poised to become equally important in future elections, with Democrats and Republicans suddenly keen to shore up support in a diverse demographic that includes everyone from Indians to Japanese to Vietnamese. So far, experts say, those efforts have been limited.
“You would think this is a group they would be going after,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, an associate professor of political science at University of California, Riverside.
That’s what we say!!
While Asian Americans still make up a relatively small slice of the country’s population – accounting for 5.8 per cent in 2011 compared to Hispanics, who represent 16.7 per cent – their population growth has been concentrated in key political battlegrounds, such as northern Virginia.
In the 2008 presidential election, Mr. Obama decisively won the Asian vote with 62-per-cent support, compared to his opponent John McCain, who garnered 35 per cent.
In fact, while 28 per cent of Asian Americans identify themselves as Republican-leaning, 50 per cent identify with the Democratic Party. Asian Americans are also more likely to support Mr. Obama than Americans overall. The survey found that 54 per cent of Asian Americans approve of Mr. Obama’s job performance.