Asian “Natural Republicans” Vote 75% Democratic—Any More Bright Ideas?

Is immigration

good for the Republican Party?

The second-largest heavily
immigrant ethnic group, after Hispanics, are

Immigration enthusiasts often claim
they are "natural
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

. So Bush wouldn`t have done all that much
better if the whole country had been surveyed in this
new poll.

Previously, the most publicized
2004 figure for Asian-Americans was from the troubled
version of the
exit poll. It showed Kerry winning
by a mere


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

39 percent

Similarly, the Los Angeles
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

Yet the President`s father won a

majority of Asians in 1992
—even while

losing the race
. And

Bob Dole
appears to have edged Bill Clinton in 1996
among Asians.

So, although the GOP

likes to imagine
that immigrants will move toward
them over time, the historical trend with Asians

appears to be in the opposite direction.

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

, best educated, and, due to their
English-language skills, the most articulate of the
Asian immigrant nationalities. And, thus, increasingly
the most influential.

While the

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

Ramesh Ponnuru,

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
first look.

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.

Still …

Milton Himmelfarb

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

for on the topic. I`d like to add
another perspective drawn from my "affordable
family formation

In the last two Presidential

Republican states have been distinguished by

lower housing costs
and, not surprisingly, higher
rates of

being married

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

until after their fortieth birthday—and have
fewer children.

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.

But what about the Asian

"strong family values"
? Why don`t they make

vote Republican?

The little-understood paradox is
that many

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
of customs.

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.


by Harvard political scientist

Robert D. Putnam

Bowling Alone
fame showed that a

city`s level of ethnic diversity
is negatively
correlated with its sense of community.)

In contrast, American-born nuclear

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

movie critic

The American Conservative
His website
features his daily