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Dissecting Why Asian Americans Abandoned the Republican Party, Yet All Is not Hopeless for the GOP


No ethnic group has abandoned the Republican Party faster than Asian Americans, according to The Conversation, yet the Grand Old Party is working hard to turn that around.

Two decades ago 74 percent of the Asian American vote went to the GOP. Since then the Democratic share of the vote has increased from 36 percent in 1992 to 64 percent in 2008 to 73 percent in 2012.

What’s behind that huge turnaround and is it too late for Republicans to reverse the slide?

Before you can really answer the second question, it would be helpful to answer the first.

A new study offers clues about why Asian Americans turned away from Republican candidates.

Research by Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, Alexander Kuo and Neil Malhotra found a sense of alienation and exclusion is associated with Republicans by Asian Americans.

Just a few weeks ago, when an Asian American voter asked Donald Trump a question, the leading GOP presidential contender asked Joseph Choe if he was from South Korea.

It’s the same type of question Asian Americans are constantly getting from people who associate them as foreigners and somehow un-American.

For the record, Choe was born in Texas and raised in Colorado.

These sort of microaggressions leave a deep impression among Asian Americans and one that has hurt the Republicans.

In a survey conduced by Ho, Kuo and Malhota, the researcher was instructed to question the citizenship of half the participants.

“I’m sorry. I forgot that this study is only for US citizens. Are you a US citizen? I cannot tell,” the survey taker asked.

Those asked that question were more likely to associate themselves with Democrats than Republicans.

Despite that, AlJazeera America reports that nearly half of Asian Americans considers themselves independents rather than being aligned with either party.

This gives Republicans hope they can win back the Asian American vote.

“As a group, I don’t think [Asian Americans] are in anybody’s pocket,” said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution.

You can read about attempts by Republicans to win back the Asian American vote in AlJazeera America.

You can read about more studies as to why this will be an uphill battle for Republicans in The Conversation.


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