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Notable & Quotable

July 31, 2012

Shawn Steel, California's Republican National Committeeman, writing July 28 in the Washington Examiner:


If Mitt Romney wants to reach 270 electoral votes, and win the presidency, he must aggressively target Asian-American voters.


Asians—Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese and Koreans—are the nation's wealthiest, most highly educated and most aspirational voting demographic. Their numbers have grown by more than 40 percent in the last decade, and they are concentrated in key electoral battleground states like Nevada, Michigan, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.


Despite surveys showing Asian-Americans as more favorable toward Obama and government than the general public, their actual voting behavior in recent elections offers Romney an opportunity. Look to 2009, the year Republicans recovered from the Obama blowout and stormed back to retake the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey.


Republican Bob McDonnell targeted Asian-Americans energetically, even though they constitute just 5.9 percent of Virginians. He employed multiple strategies, such as asking Asian business owners to publicly communicate their support by putting McDonnell signs in their storefronts. His campaign communicated with Asian-American voters in their native languages in everything from mailers to radio ads to yard signs. A postelection survey of Asian-American voters in Northern Virginia found that nearly 60 percent voted for McDonnell.


Middlesex, New Jersey's second most populous county, is a perennial Democratic bastion, but in 2009, it went for Chris Christie by 48 percent to 44 percent—almost precisely his statewide margin. Not coincidentally, Middlesex now has among the highest percentages of Asian-Americans outside of Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay area.



Republicans should target Asian voters

July 29, 2012

Republican strategists should pay close attention to the column on Asian voters in the Sunday Examiner by Shawn Steel, Republican National Committeeman from California and former Republican state chairman. Steel points out that Asian voters are now a significant part of the electorate in several target states and that their votes are gettable by Republicans. He cites a survey that Asians voted 60% for Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in 2009—one reason McDonnell carried Fairfax County where Barack Obama whipped John McCain by a 59%-41% margin. And in 2009 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie carried  Middlesex County, which has the nation’s highest Asian percentage outside California and Hawaii. This will not come as a complete surprise to faithful Examiner readers, since two weeks after the November 2009 I wrote a blogpost pointing to just these results, and noting that Christie carried the two largest and ordinarily Democratic jurisdictions in Middlesex County, Edison Township and Woodbridge Township, which have the largest percentage of Indian-origin residents of any cities or towns in the nation outside the San Francisco Bay area.

Asian voters are of course a varied group, with different traditions and different political inclinations, which need to be addressed differently. But as a general proposition they tend to live in affluent suburbs; residents of the United States born in India have higher median household incomes than Americans born in the United States. Like Jewish voters, they tend to be a subset of affluent suburbanites. Are the Romney campaign and Republican activists targeting them? One online comment to Steel’s column suggests the answer may be yes. As commenter Ronny Norman reports, “when I went with my friends to the Asian festival in Fairfax last week, the Asian Romney outreach team was impressive. My friends told me that maintaining personal wealth has historically and culturally been a priority for asians, so he believes they will be voting with their pocket in this November. Here are some pictures they posted on the web:https://picasaweb.google.com/a…” One picture shows former Congressman Tom Davis, a Republican who was elected in the 11th congressional district, which includes parts of Fairfax County with large Asian populations, from 1994 to 2006.



Romney must win over Asian voters

July 27, 2012

If Mitt Romney wants to reach 270 electoral votes, and win the presidency, he must aggressively target Asian-American voters.

Asians -- Chinese, Japanese, Indians, Filipinos, Vietnamese and Koreans -- are the nation's wealthiest, most highly educated and most aspirational voting demographic. Their numbers have grown by more than 40 percent in the last decade, and they are concentrated in key electoral battleground states like Nevada, Michigan, Colorado, Ohio, Florida, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

Despite surveys showing Asian-Americans as more favorable toward Obama and government than the general public, their actual voting behavior in recent elections offers Romney an opportunity. Look to 2009, the year Republicans recovered from the Obama blowout and stormed back to retake the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey.





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