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View Diary: Why the current GOP can't win Latinos (173 comments)

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  •  The Asian American vote and the youth vote (5+ / 0-)

    The Latino voting trends captured the headlines, as the 2012 election was the first one decisively driven by the demographic trends.  But, an underlying problem for the GOP centers on the Asian American vote.

    As recently as the 1996 election, Asian Americans had been a reliable GOP voting bloc, a "model minority" to use as a wedge against African Americans and Latinos in particular.  Since that election, the Asian American vote has trended very rapidly toward the Democrats.  

    Aside from the discussion of attributes and attitudes, I think a very important differentiation drives the Asian American vote AND the Latino vote.  And that's generational.

    With the Asian American vote, the majority of the voters in decades past came with the large immigrant wave from Asia that accompanied the 1964 immigration reform.  This generation of immigrants was highly educated and entrepreneurial (from which sprouted the "model minority" stereotype).  

    But, as they became citizens, the issues that drove that particular generation of Asian Americans to the polls in national elections had more to do with who was tougher on Communism.  With large blocs of Asian American immigrants coming from Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Vietnam -- the global struggle against Communism was their #1 political issue, and this played into Republican hands.  

    Fast forward to 1996, Communism was on the wane, and in fact, many of the newer Asian immigrants now came from China (officially still a Communist country).  All the while, the Asian American population continues to grow exponentially.  

    This growth is fed by both immigration and native-born Asian Americans.  These groups do not align their politics by a Cold War worldview, and they are also young.  

    With both Asian Americans and Latinos, I think the point about youth is paramount.  Younger voters are much more likely to reject the Republican orthodoxy on most issues, and this crosses over racial lines.  So, this shift in the voting preferences of Latinos and Asian Americans has a substantive angle, but it also very much reflects a generational shift.

    •  See my comment above about Asian-Americans (0+ / 0-)

      They know nativist threats when they hear them, and they're voting the party that doesn't welcome that kind of talk. This "model minority" won't collaborate with a party that bashes immigrants when they know so many of them... If they weren't immigrants themselves

      I'm sure both that and the youth factor help. Thanks for mentioning the context about Communism. It drove politics among the Vietnamese here very strongly but I don't hear about it as often now..

      •  Very good points on the Asian American experience (0+ / 0-)

        Oh yes, I like to think of Vietnamese as "Asian Cubans" when it comes to politics.  They have often voted heavily Republican and will often battle each other on anti-Communism in a petty way.  Over here in San Jose there is a Vietnamese-American politician called Madison Nguyen who tried to compromise over the naming of a Vietnamese section called "Little Saigon" vs. Saigon Business District. Well, Ms. Nguyen opted for the latter as being less exclusively Vietnamese and the hardliners started screaming for her scalp, got death threats, and targeted her with a recall election (which she survived).  

        Unfortunately, the politics became just petty/personal, rather than over issues, and she is still, sadly, a figure for division in the Viet community.  

        That said, the younger Vietnamese community, like the Cubans, are less likely to be animated by anti-Ho Chi Minh appeals, and look to more bread and butter issues.  They are also more likely to vote Democratic than their elders.  

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