Dec. 6, 2012
If I had a buck for every prediction Rob got wrong this campaign, I could buy us all drinks. Fortunately for Rob, I didn’t keep track of them all (didn’t he say Romney would win Vermont?), but I do remember he claimed California was in play and Nancy Pelosi was in trouble, because of all the Asian-Americans now trending Republican. That prediction came back to me when I saw this about the Asian vote in a Steve and Cokie Roberts column:
Seventy-three percent of these voters backed the president, up from 62 percent in 2008. John Kerry was the first Democrat to get a majority of this group, 56 percent in 2004, and as recently as 1992, Bill Clinton won only 31 percent of the Asian vote.
Two political scientists who have studied this trend, Taeku Lee and Karthick Ramakrishnan, summed up their findings recently in the Los Angeles Times: “Asian-Americans are no longer a swing vote or a crouching tiger in the electorate; their political stripes are now distinctly Democratic blue.”
They list several reasons for this trend: 55 percent of Asian-Americans favor bigger government and better services, and they tend to favor universal health care by a wide margin. Many aren’t Christians, and are turned off by the Christianity Rules rhetoric of the GOP. They tend to be more successful than the average American and more optimistic about the future, hence willing to re-elect a president, especially one who named Asian Americans to top administration jobs. Asian-Americans make up just 3 percent of the population, but they have now overtaken Hispanics as the fastest growing ethnic group in the electorate. As with Hispanics, immigration is an issue that hits close to home.
But beyond that, there’s what one Indian-American writer called the “dog-whistle racism” of today’s GOP: “If Obama is not an American and does not legitimately belong, then they’re saying the same about me.” Rob has blown that whistle pretty hard over the last few years, at least on our site. Do those who have worked so hard to fire up and amplify the bigoted wing of the Republican base understand yet what they have done?