Political scientists Alexander Kuo, Neil Malhotra and Cecilia Hyunjung Mo write:
And now for their second explanation:
When Asian Americans are reminded of their shared political interests with other minorities, they are pushed to the left. . . . We surveyed a large sample of Asian Americans and randomly assigned individuals to read different versions of a newspaper article that framed the important, high-impact issue of immigration in two different ways. One article focused on the impact of Arizona SB1070, a law that required police officers to ascertain people’s immigration status, indicating the common status of immigrants of Asian and Hispanic origin. Another article focused on how the current immigration reform debate can pit higher-skilled immigrants from Asia against lower-skilled immigrants from Latin America.The result: When immigration was framed as an issue that teamed Hispanics and Asians together under the umbrella of common interest, 72 percent identified as Democrats . . . But when immigration was framed as an issue that pitted Hispanics and Asians against each other, only 67 percent of Asians identified as Democrats.
To all of this discussion I’d like to add a thought of my own. A couple years ago, in addressing this question, I pointed out:
According to this site, the states with lots of Asians are mostly pretty liberal. Here are the 10 states with highest %Asian:Hawaii
MassachusettsAnd after that comes Illinois. And within these states I assume the Asians are likely to live in or near big cities.At the bottom of the list, at less than 1% Asian, you have solidly Republican Montana, West Virginia, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Mississippi.California alone is big enough that its 13% Asian represent a large proportion of all the Asians in the country. (Here’s a quick calculation: California has 38 million people, so 13% Asian comes to 5 million. The U.S. has 312 million people, 4.8% Asian, thus a total of 15 million.) A third of Asians in America live in California. And a bunch of the rest live in New York, New Jersey, and Hawaii.This doesn’t by itself explain why Obama got so much of the Asian vote—but it’s not a surprise that members of a minority group concentrated in urban areas on the Pacific coast and the Northeast are mostly voting for Democrats.
I think all these things are part of the story.