Since last month, we at America’s Voice have for good reason spent much time lifting up the Latino vote and its pivotal role in the 2012 election. But another key voting bloc—Asian Americans—has also been making headlines, and the Republican failure to court it means even more trouble for the GOP in a diversifying future.
A poll released by the Asian American Justice Center, Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote and the National Asian American Survey yesterday revealed that President Obama won 71% of the Asian-American vote last month, compared to just 28% for Mitt Romney. That’s close to the 75% – 23% margin that Obama won with Latino voters. The 3.2 million votes that Asian-Americans cast amounted to 3% of the national electorate—numbers that are expected to grow now that Asian-Americans are now the nation’s fastest growing ethnic group and make up the largest percentage of its new immigrants.
The poll noted that 46% of registered Asian American voters remain independent or undecided about their party affiliation, “pointing to the possibility that many remain open to persuasion and outreach in future elections.” But for now, the wide gap between support for President Obama and Mitt Romney suggests a specific need for Republicans to do a better job reaching out to the community and responding to its priorities. Though the poll notes that the most important issue to the voters surveyed was the “economy and jobs,” the strongest gaps in support for Obama over Romney were on issues of immigration and racial discrimination. For those who viewed immigration as a “very important issue,” 74% chose Obama, while Romney got 26%.