Asian-American voters, the fastest growing racial group in America, overwhelmingly voted for President Barack Obama.
While Asian-Americans currently only made up three percent of the electorate, their numbers are growing and this year they came out big for the president: Seventy-three percent to Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s 26 percent, a 47 percentage point gap, according to exit polls.
Obama’s support increased 11 percentage points from 2008 when he received 62 percent of the Asian vote to Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain’s 35 percent. Then, Asian-Americans represented 2 percent of the electorate.
While much has been made of Obama’s 44 percent margin of victory over Romney (71 percent to Romney’s 27 percent) among Latino voters and their growing importance as a voting bloc (now 10 percent of the electorate, from 9 percent in 2008), Asian-Americans represent the fastest growing minority in America, recently surpassing the growth among Latinos, according to a report over the summer from the Pew Research Center.
“Presidential candidates and political parties ignore Asian-American voters at their own peril,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said on a conference call earlier this year. “While Asian Americans and Pacific islanders seem to prefer Democratic candidates, many don’t really know the differences between Democrats and Republicans, because they haven’t been engaged by either party. There’s a real opportunity there to define the debate.”
This cycle it appears they did.