Asian “Natural Republicans” Vote 75% Democratic—Any More Bright Ideas?
good for the Republican Party?
The second-largest heavily
immigrant ethnic group, after Hispanics, are
Asian-Americans. Immigration enthusiasts often claim
they are "natural
Republicans" because they are thought to be
prosperous, law-abiding, family-oriented etc. etc.
The only problem with this theory:
these natural Republicans have been voting Democratic.
The results of a
massive multilingual Presidential election exit poll
conducted last November in eight languages of almost
11,000 Asian voters, 82 percent of them immigrants, have
finally been released by the liberal
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund.
The findings are exceptionally bad
for the GOP.
Among these Asian voters, Kerry
drubbed Bush 74-24.
This is not a perfectly
representative sample, so the real figure probably
wasn`t quite so awful. The AALDEF exit poll was
conducted in 23 cities in 8 states east of the
Mississippi, only one of which (Virginia) voted for
Still, no less than 76 percent of
Asians do live in “blue”—Democratic—states. And the
dominant Asian state missing from the poll, California,
where one out of every three Asian-Americans lives, went
solidly Democratic. In the already-reported Edison-Mitofsky
exit poll, Kerry won California`s Asians
66-34. So Bush wouldn`t have done all that much
better if the whole country had been surveyed in this
However, merely a few hundred
Asians filled out the long questionnaire used in the
national Edison-Mitofsky poll. Edison-Mitofsky`s own
data shows that among the much larger (and thus more
reliable) sample who filled out either the short form or
the long form, Bush captured only
Similarly, the Los Angeles
Times` national Exit Poll showed Bush carrying only
34 percent of Asians.
Conclusion: although the exact
figure isn`t quite clear, Bush lost the Asian vote by a
And the future looks even worse.
Among first-time voters in the AALDEF poll, Kerry won
78-20. Among American-born Asians, who are presumably
more assimilated, Kerry was victorious 80-18. Among
18 to 29-year-old Asians, Kerry won 84-14.
Of particular interest to GOP
strategists should be Bush`s performance among
South Asian voters (mostly Indians, Pakistanis, and
Bangladeshis). They are the
wealthiest, best educated, and, due to their
English-language skills, the most articulate of the
Asian immigrant nationalities. And, thus, increasingly
the most influential.
Chinese and other
East Asian immigrants come from reserved cultures
that value harmony and tend to
dislike electoral politics, the Asian Indians are
more loquacious and opinionated. Thus we`re seeing more
South Asians in the American opinion media, such as
Dinesh D`Souza, and the pseudonymous founders of the
Gene Expression blog, just to name a few on the
right. They won`t be the last.
GOP strategists from Richard Nixon
onward have focused on Jewish voters more than their
small numbers might appears to warrant, because of
the strong Jewish role in the media and campaign
finance. Now they also need to start thinking hard about
Little data has been available
before on South Asian voting, so the 2,700 South Asian
participants in the AALDEF exit poll offer an important
The result: among South Asians,
Kerry clobbered Bush—90-9!
Maybe this is not nationally
representative because Indians are more
spread out across the country than other Asians, who
cluster in blue states.
famously observed in the 1960s that Jews live like
Episcopalians but vote like
Puerto Ricans. If the AALDEF poll is at all
accurate, South Asians live like Jews but
vote like blacks.
This is terrible news for the GOP.
Why have Asians deserted the GOP?
After the 2000 election,
John Derbyshire wrote an insightful
article for VDARE.com on the topic. I`d like to add
another perspective drawn from my "affordable
family formation" hypothesis.
In the last two Presidential
inland Republican states have been distinguished by
lower housing costs and, not surprisingly, higher
being married and
having babies among their white populations.
Two processes are going on: 1) The
more family-oriented people tend to move to regions with
affordable housing and
good public schools, and they make those states more
Republican because they vote on family values issues.
And, 2), for people on the margin in their desire for
marriage and family, the affordability of housing
influences whether or not they start down the path
toward marriage, children…and Republicanism.
Asian immigrants tend to prefer
more expensive (and thus Democratic-voting) parts of the
country. For example, the
cost of living in California is now 51 percent above
the national average—in large measure because housing
costs are 130 percent higher.
High home prices are not as much of
a deterrent to Asian immigrants because,
on average, they don`t feel they need as many
square feet per family member. With their tendency
toward extended families living together, they more
often have three, four, or even five paychecks per
household. They can outbid native-born American nuclear
families with only one or two paychecks.
And this Asian influx, such as in
San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles, drives home
prices up even higher.
The difficulty of affording a house
puts added financial pressure on the natives to wait
longer to marry—four of my seven closest friends from
high school in L.A. didn`t
marry until after their fortieth birthday—and have
This in turn makes them less likely
to become Republican family-values type voters.
As the Asian immigrants become
citizens and begin to vote, they look around for
guidance from the native voters. My theory: not being
particularly excited about politics, but highly
sensitive to status signals, they notice that in their
region, the Democrats are the prevailing party. So they
join the crowd.
The little-understood paradox is
Asian immigrants cocoon their children within such
all-enveloping extended families that they don`t need
much help from the government in insulating their kids
from anti-family cultural threats.
They don`t need laws to help them
raise their children because they have such a strong web
For example, the West Asian
immigrant family that lives on my block has lived within
an insulated Old Country social world during their
quarter-century in America. They entertain countless
relatives, but never their neighbors.
In contrast, American-born nuclear
rightly feel more at risk from a corrosive culture.
They therefore want their elected officials to validate
the norms helpful in raising their children.
In every way, current mass
immigration isn`t helping them.
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and