I've often wondered why Asians -- especially in California -- weren't more solidly Republican. They fit the general profile: socially conservative, small business owners, upwardly striving.
And they're growing.
For decades, the Republican party has made (quixotic) attempts to peel off African American voters -- the huge majority of whom, as we all know, vote Democratic.
Asians, though, might be a better bet. From the LATimes:
One of the few glimmers of hope for the GOP in a poll published last week by the Los Angeles Times and the USCCollege of Letters, Arts and Sciences was the openness among Asian voters to consider Republican candidates whom many in the state, particularly other minority groups, have spurned.
Asians, it seems, are more closely aligned with Republicans on a number of issues:
Asian voters tended to be more sympathetic to Republican policies on two fronts — fiscal and social issues — which served to emphasize their potential as swing voters.
When asked whether the state's giant budget deficit should be pared through tax hikes or decreased spending, 51% of Asian voters cited spending, well above the 35% among Latinos and the 46% among white voters.
On social issues, the distinctions were most pronounced on same-sex marriage. Thirty-eight percent of Asians said same-sex couples deserved no legal recognition, and only 29% backed the right to marriage. Among Latinos, 19% opted for no recognition and 45% backed marriage; among whites 12% opposed legal recognition and 53% supported marriage.
On immigration, Asians agreed with Latinos on backing a temporary worker program and allowing undocumented residents to gain citizenship if they fulfilled certain dictates. And they favored a measure that would allow citizenship for those who graduate from college or serve in the military.
But they differed sharply on whether employers who hire illegal immigrants should be fined: Latinos disagreed and Asians strongly agreed. And on the emotional matter of whether illegal immigrants should be barred from services like emergency room care or public school admission, Latinos strongly disagreed and Asians narrowly agreed.
So why do Republicans lose that voting group so often? And so decisively? Asians in California backed Jerry Brown. And Barbara Boxer. The future of American politics -- or, should I say, successful American politics -- is going to be cobbling together a coalition from a every slice of the American pie. The African American vote may be a lost cause for Republicans. But that means they'll need to fight harder for everyone else.