President Obama carried 73 percent of the Asian vote on Tuesday, continuing a two-decade-long march of Asian-Americans toward the Democratic Party in presidential politics.
Obama improved his performance among Asian-Americans more than among any other ethnic group between 2008 and 2012, according to exit polling. His support in the community jumped 11 percentage points, from 62 percent in 2008.
The 73 percent support that Obama garnered was the highest since national exit polls began tallying the Asian vote, and it marked the fifth straight presidential election in which the Democratic nominee attracted a greater share of the Asian-American vote.
President Clinton won only 31 percent of the Asian-American vote in 1992. His vice president, Al Gore, was the first Democrat to capture a majority of the community, with 54 percent support when Gore ran for president in 2000.
National Journal recently delved into the growing impact and political clout of Asian-Americans, especially in some key presidential swing states, including Virginia and Nevada. Strategists for both political parties see the growing community, which is still only a fraction of the national electorate, as a critical swing voter bloc in the future. Asian-Americans were the nation's fastest-growing ethnic group between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.
In 2012, Asian-Americans sided decidedly with the Democrats. In fact, Obama garnered a higher percentage of the Asian vote than he did among Latinos (71 percent). It is only the second time since 1992 that Asians voted more Democratic than Hispanics. The other race was in 2004, when President Bush, the former governor of Texas, made a concerted push for the Latino vote. That year, 53 percent of Latinos voted for Democratic challenger John Kerry, and 56 percent of Asian-Americans backed him.