How the Asian American electorate shaped Election Night 2012

November 6th, 2012 was a night of Asian American firsts. Sure, the headlines are blaring about the historic re-election of the first African American president, Barack Obama, to a second term. But Election Night 2012 also marked several landmark firsts for the Asian American community that sound a single resounding note: we are the Asian American electorate, and we have arrived.

Because every post about elections needs a generic picture of “I Voted” buttons.

Last night, a record 21 Asian Americans — including Chinese Americans, Korean Americans, Thai Americans, and South Asian Americans — were on the ballot in down-ticket races for Congress (full list here), a few running against one another. Notably, many were freshman politicians, including my college friend Nate Shinagawa whom I worked with in our campus Asian American student group and whom I helped (albeit unsuccessfully) for his first run at student government at Cornell; Nate later served as Ithaca’s first Asian American mayor. Unfortunately, several of these young Asian American politicians lost their bids for Congress, but the record number of Asian American candidates this year speaks to our community’s growing participation in the political process.

Goddammit, Nate, how do you still look this young after ten years?!? It’s like we took your Student Assembly campaign pictures yesterday.

Others were established Asian American congressmen who were seeking, and who won, re-election: Rep Mike Honda-D (CA-CD17), Rep Judy Chu-D (CA-CD27), Rep Doris Matsui-D (CA-CD17), and Rep Colleen Hanabusa (HI-CD1). All staved off Republican challengers to keep their seats. Further, as far as I can tell, no Asian American incumbent running yesterday, was unseated.

But most importantly, Election Night 2012 was a night of firsts for the Asian American community. We added a record four new Asian American congressional representatives — all Democratic — out of California, Hawaii, and New York, including: Representative-Elect Tammy Duckworth-D (IL-CD8), the first Thai-American woman elected to Congress; Representative-Elect Tulsi Gabbard (HI-CD2), the first Hindu-American elected to Congress; Representative-Elect Grace Meng (NY-CD6), the first Chinese American to be elected to Congress from New York; and Representative-Elect Mark Takano (CA-CD41), the first openly gay Asian American to be elected to Congress. We also elected current current Congresswoman Mazie Hirono out of Hawaii to the Senate to serve as the first Asian American female senator.

Mazie Hirono was elected by Hawaiian voters yesterday, and is the first Asian American female Senator to be elected to Congress. She is taking the seat vacated by retiring Senator Daniel Akaka (who is also Asian American).

For those of you keeping score, that would be four Asian American women, and one LGBTQ Asian American man who just got elected to Congress last night. Personally, I don’t think it gets more historical than that.

Representative Tammy Duckworth is the first Thai-American woman elected to Congress. She is also an Iraq war vet who survived double amputation of her legs before launching her political career. She’s also just really cool.

Note: the race between Asian Indian Ami Bera-D and Dan Lungren-R in California’s 7th Congressional District remains too close to call. With 100% of precincts reporting in, Bera maintains a razor-thin lead of less than 150 votes; this race will surely be tied up in recounts and challenges for the next few days. However, if Bera wins, he will be the only Asian Indian man to win last night out of a landmark six races featuring Asian Indian candidates this year.

Mark Takano was elected by California voters and will be the first openly gay Asian American — in fact, the first openly gay person of colour — to serve as a U.S. Congressman.

This historic first for the Asian American community is notable as it contributes to the overwhelming narrative of Election Night 2012 — that the overall American electorate is diverse, and that neither Republicans nor Democrats can afford to ignore the voices of minority voters.

Grace Meng is the first Asian American to be elected to the U.S. House from the state of New York, which boasts a large Asian American community consisting of 7.8% of the state’s population.

Because, as it turns out, Asian Americans were important in delivering President Barack Obama his second term last night.

Tulsi Gabbard is the first Hindu American to be elected to Congress. She is taking the seat from Hawaii vacated by Mazie Hirono, the first Asian American woman to be elected Senator.

As we knew for weeks leading up to the election, Governor Mitt Romney’s path to 270 electoral votes — the number he needed to win — depended upon victories in a handful of swing states. I blogged earlier yesterday a table of numbers that included a rough estimate of registered Asian American voters in many of these swing states and other states where we might be influential; these numbers would be useful, I wrote, in identifying states where — if the margin of victory is small — Asian American voters may swing the election in favour of one candidate or another.

Over the course of the night, I updated the table with returns as precincts reported in, keeping a close eye on the number of voters that differed between each candidate’s vote totals. In a few important states, President Obama is likely to eke out a narrow victory of less than two points: Florida and Virginia (the former remains to be called for Obama as of this writing). These swing states are also significant in that they are winner-take-all states that represent a large number of electoral votes: 29 electoral votes for Florida and 13 electoral votes for Virginia. These swing states are also notable in that the small margin of victory combined with their relatively populous Asian American communities means that Asian American voters could have helped deliver both states to the Democratic side. And, with Romney’s flagging numbers in Ohio, most analysts last night agreed that Romney needed a victory in one or both of these other states to win.

And, frankly, the numbers bear it out: Asian American voters helped deliver both states to President Obama. In so doing, Asian Americans helped seal the president’s second term.

CNN exit polling shows that 73% of Asian American voters supported President Obama nationally last night.

Virginia is the best state to demonstrate Asian American influence on the Election yesterday. In Virginia, Asian Americans make up 5.8% of the population; last night, we were 3% of the state’s voters. Nationally, Asian Americans voted overwhelmingly in favour of President Obama last night (CNN’s exit polling showed 73% support for President Obama among Asian American voters; a similar 3 to 1 spread was found in a CAPACD exit poll). In the generally conservative state of Virginia, President Obama also won landslide support with Asian American voters: 66% of Asian American voters polled by MSNBC exit pollsters in Virginia voted for President Obama. This translates to 70,000 Asian American Obama voters, in a state where President Obama’s margin of victory was just over 65,000 votes (with 100% of the vote in, numbers taken directly from the Virginia board of elections website). Had Governor Romney convinced even half of Virginia’s Asian American Obama voters to swing Romney, Virginia would be red this morning.

A similar story can be told in Florida, where Asian Americans make up 2.4% of the population. 2% — or 165,000 — of Florida’s voters were Asian American, according to MSNBC exit polls. Unfortunately, exit polls in Florida were insufficient to give the distribution of Obama supporters within this population, but if we make the reasonable assumption that Floridian Asian Americans, like their Virginia counterparts, voted 2 to 1 in favour of President Obama. (Note: this is pretty reasonable since the same exit poll, which lumps in Asians with voters of “All Other” races shows 70% of that group voting for Obama.) This translates to 109,000 Obama votes from Asian American voters, in a state where at last count (with 97% of precincts reporting in; oh Florida, why are you always the problem child?), President Obama was winning by only 47,000. Again, had Governor Romney convinced even just a quarter of Florida’s Asian American Obama voters to vote for him, he may have won (or solidified a win) in Florida (depending on where Florida ends up).

Had Romney managed to accomplish both of these tasks in Florida and Virginia, he would’ve added 42 electoral votes to his tally. While it turns out that the Romney strategy also failed to deliver in other swing states that Romney needed to make it to 270, these 42 electoral votes were certainly a critical part of his path to victory. Losing them very likely cost Governor Romney the election.

As if this weren’t enough, Asian Americans were also critical for delivering the popular vote to President Obama — which politicos understand the president needed to win to make the argument for a political mandate going into his second term. As most of us watching the returns last night were aware, the popular vote was a nail-biter, appearing to favour Romney for hours after the polls closed on the East Coast. But, as California polls closed and votes were tallied, we saw a steady uptick in the popular vote for Obama, culminating in a majority just as Romney delivered his 5 minute concession speech. We can, from this, pretty safely assume that the West Coast was key for the Obama campaign in winning the popular vote; and particularly in states like California where Asian Americans are 13.6% of the population and where 12% (or 1.1 million) of the state’s voters last night. MSNBC reports that a whopping 77% of California’s Asian American voters backed the president, so in California alone, 850,000 Asian American voters contributed to the president’s victory in the popular vote.

When we consider the entire country, the math solidifies this argument. Nationally, about 118 million voters cast their ballots in the 2012 election. At last count, the president is winning the popular vote by 2.7 million votes, or just about 1 percentage point. CNN exit polls estimate that 3% — or 3.54 million — Asian American voters voted this year, and that in aggregate 73% of us backed President Obama. That’s 2.6 million Asian American votes cast for President Obama — which is just about the margin of victory between President Obama and Governor Romney in the popular vote right now (with 99% of votes tallied).

But, enough with the math. The message is clear: Asian American voters were critical in shaping the outcome of Election Night 2012. As I wrote above, the writing is on the wall:  we are the Asian American electorate, and we have arrived.

But ultimately what this all really tells us is that both Democrats and Republicans can ill afford to continue over-looking the Asian American electorate. CAPACD notes in their exit polling that 51% of Asian Americans reported not being contacted by either Democrats or Republicans this year. I predicted earlier in the week that Governor Mitt Romney’s failure in messaging that appealed to Asian American voters would likely cost him the White House.

The bottom line is that Asian Americans are a small, but growing political force in this country. Even more attractive for both the Democratic and Republican leadership are three facts: 1) we are a young electorate with no generational party affiliation, with 31% of Asian American voters in 2008 identifying as first-time voters; 2) we seem reluctant to make party affiliation, with a majority of Asian American voters identifying as independents even in blue states like California; and, 3) our key issues are surprisingly consistent with the Republican party line — in 2008, Asian American voters cited the jobs and the economy as their primary concern —  yet, we appear to be attracted by the inclusionary message of Democrats which indicates that both parties have room to forge a political in-road with Asian American voters. Critically, since Asian American voters are still a young voting community, whichever party wins our support in the next few decades is likely to enjoy generational loyalty that will be harder for the opposition to crack later on.

On the other hand, what the 2012 Election also made clear is that the Republican party’s strategy of exclusion of all voters who aren’t wealthy White males will not work in the increasingly multi-racial landscape of America. Right now, Asian Americans seem poised to become a voting bloc institutionally loyal to Democrats. And, as a progressive, I think this is great. But, frankly, Asian Americans would best be served by a true race for the Asian American vote by both Democrats and Republicans. This would ensure that our issues — immigration, education, healthcare, science and technology, small business, economy, APIA political representation — can be raised to the forefront of the political debate; it would also encourage more political participation in the Asian American community which — despite our profound influence last night — still lags in voter registration numbers.

In short: the time to win the Asian American vote is now. The question is whether Democrats and Republicans recognize it.

Related:

List of Asian American Voter Turnout in Asian American-Dominant and Swing States in 2012

Here’s the % of voters participating in MSNBC exit polling that were Asian American, by state

APIA Demographics

% Pop. Estimated # Registered Voters (55% of APIA) % APIA Voters in 2012(% of Total Voters)
National (popular) 5.6                          9,526,471
Virginia 5.8                              258,282 3
Nevada 7.7                              115,332 4
Colorado 2.9                                81,613 2
Florida 2.4                              251,560 1
Iowa 1.9                                32,001 0
New Hampshire 2.3                                16,675 1
North Carolina 2.3                              122,153 1
Ohio 1.7                              107,945 3
Wisconsin 2.4                                75,395 1
California 13.6                          2,819,355 12
New York 7.8                              835,057 2
New Jersey 8.7                              422,092 3

Note: I’m noticing that this post is being widely shared, which makes me concerned that this table will be taken out of context. A note on where these numbers came from. I’ve listed all the swing states from the 2012 Election, as well as three states (California, New York and New Jersey) where the Asian American population exceeds the national average. The percentage of Asian Americans in each state (and nationally) were obtained from the 2010 U.S. Census. The estimate of registered voters is a rough estimate — it was obtained by determining the size (in numbers) of the Asian American population in each state from the U.S. Census. Then, I calculated the estimate of registered APIA voters by using the rough estimates that 55% of Asian Americans are registered to vote nationally and making the assumption that this reflects state-by-state voter registration. It is a rough estimate based on a pretty general assumption, and should not be construed as hard data. That being said, the numbers turned out to give a pretty good ballpark when considered in post-returns voter numbers and typical voter turnout rates. APIA voter percentages in the righthand column are transposed from MSNBC exit polls administered in each state.

For a discussion of Asian American voters in the 2012 Election, please see this post: How the Asian American electorate shaped Election Night 2012. This table served as some of the raw data that led to that post.

Update: Here’s CNN’s exit polling of all voters by race and how we voted (the number breakdown is 73% to 26%):

Looks like Asian Americans voted overwhelmingly in favour of President Obama — moreso than Latino voters.

Live Updates of Battleground State Returns vs. Potential APIA Voters

I made a table that helps compare an estimate of registered APIA voters against the margin of victory in the presidential race. I’ll be updating this table throughout the night as the returns come in.

Last updated: 1:00AM EST (last update of the night)

APIA Demographics

2012 Polling

2012 Returns

% Pop. Estimated # Registered Voters Obama % Romney % Margin % Margin (# Voters) Obama (%) Obama (# Voters Romney (%) Romney (# Voters) Margin (# Voters) Precincts Reporting (%)
National (popular) 5.6 9,526,471 49 48 1 1,293,917  50  59,971,000 48 57,304,000  2,667,000  98
Virginia 5.8 258,282 48 47 1 36,845 50  1,797,511 48  1,731,867  44,000  100
Nevada 7.7 115,332 49 46 3 28,397  52  529,000  46  462,000  67,000  93
Colorado 2.9 81,613 50 48 2 47,243  51 1,231,000  47 1,120,000  111,000  90
Florida 2.4 251,560 48 47 1 83,277  50 4,138,000  49 4,091,000  47,000  97
Iowa 1.9 32,001 48 45 3 45,340  52  816,000  46  728,000  88,000  96
New Hampshire 2.3 16,675 50 48 2 14,027  52  360,000  47 320,000 60,000  93
North Carolina 2.3 122,153 45 45 0 0  48  2,176,000  51  2,272,000  96,000  99
Ohio 1.7 107,945 50 47 3 168,536  50 2,672,000  48  2,571,000 101,000  90
Wisconsin 2.4 75,395 51 44 7 205,772  53  1,606,000  46  1,404,000  202,000  98
California 13.6 2,819,355 54 39 15 1,992,938  59  5,573,000  39  3,636,000  1,699,000  69
New York 7.8 835,057 60 36 24 1,813,783  63 3,860,000  36  2,211,000  1,649,000  86
New Jersey 8.7 422,092 53 42 11 421,149  58  1,916,000 41  1,357,000  559,000  94

An Asian American Quick Reference for the 2012 Returns (Updated)

Having a 2012 Election Returns party? I made the following quick reference table which I hope might contextualize the returns, and help identify states wherein Asian American voters might influence the results. You can also download it as a .pdf if you have a burning desire to print it out and fill it in!

The following table identifies the potential number of Asian American registered voters in each state, and the projected margin of victory for the 2012 presidential candidates based on the most recent polling data.

It was hard to identify how many APIA registered voters there are, but some reports suggest that approximately 55% of Asian Americans are registered to vote nationally; I figured this was a good (conservative) estimate for state-wide Asian American voter registration, so I used this number as a way to calculate the potential number of registered voters in each state.

The 2012 predicted margin of victory is calculated based on the most recent polls (most of the numbers obtained from CNN’s “Poll of Polls” — mostly just for convenience’s sake since CNN aggregates their polls in one place), multiplied against the total number of voters that turned out in the 2008 election. Since 2008 had record high voter turnout, if the polls hold true, than the margin of victory in terms of actual number of voters may actually be smaller.

All 2008 numbers were obtained from Wikipedia, and Asian American demographic information were obtained from the U.S. Census.

Of course, this table will only be useful in identifying states wherein the Asian American electorate may have been influential — our actual influence will depend entirely on Asian American voter turnout.

Either way, I will be live-Tweeting the 2012 returns on my Twitter account (@reappropriate) starting at 7pm EST. Please join me!

Updated: New version includes New York and New Jersey.

How Mitt Romney’s failure to appeal to the Asian American vote could cost him the White House

Asian American voters (CNN).

Tomorrow is Election Day, and there are by now hundreds of field polls out there trying to predict the election’s outcome. Statisticians and pundits alike are twisting themselves into pretzel-like contortions in the race to be the first to say “I told you so”. Meanwhile, it’s hard to undersell the importance of the 2012 Election: with the economy still in shambles, unemployment high (if falling), multiple foreign policy issues on the table, the likelihood of at least one (if not more) Supreme Court nominations forthcoming, and the promise of widespread immigration reform in the next four years, the name of the person seated in the Oval Office could make all the difference.

In the final hours before Election Day, multiple polls suggest that the presidential election is a dead heat. A CNN poll released today, for example, suggests that both incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Governor Mitt Romney are polling 49% nationwide among likely voters. Analysts from both sides of the aisle predict that whomever tomorrow’s winner is, they will win by razor thin margins.

With that in mind, the Asian American vote could make all the difference.

Many analysts have suggested that Asian Americans are more politically engaged now than in many years since the start of the modern political age.

Most analysts agree that Romney’s path to 270 electoral votes — the number required to win the White House — depends upon winning at least one (if not many) of this year’s swing states, including Nevada and Virginia.  Asian Americans — the nation’s fastest growing minority group whose immigrants outnumber those of Latino descent by over 400,000 — make up 5.8% of Virginia and 7.7% of Nevada. In 2008, Asian American voters turned out in record numbers, and ~75% of them backed then-Senator Barack Obama, helping to win both Nevada and Virginia to the Democratic side (as well as to ensure the safely blue states of California, New Jersey and New York).

Yet, minimal attention has been focused on the Asian American electorate in 2012. This is surprising because multiple studies suggest that Asian Americans are a characteristically non-partisan electorate (at least relative to other minority groups). We are, as a voting aggregate, “up for grabs” for either party. Following the 2008 election, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) released the most comprehensive post-election study of Asian American voters to date, and found that 58% of Asian Americans in that election were registered Democrat. Although this might suggest that Asian Americans are largely Democratic, consider that in this same study, this number is dwarfed by the number of Asian Americans — 75% — who voted for Obama, indicating a high number of non-party-affiliated Asian American voters in that election who swung in Obama’s favour.

In truth, Asian Americans may be more evenly divided between Democrat and Republican party affiliation than the 2008 election results suggest. First of all, the AALDEF study also showed that roughly 31% of Asian American voters in 2008 were first-time voters, many of whom were likely drawn to the polls that year by the historic nature of the Obama campaign. In addition, the same study also showed that 4 out of 5 Asian American voters are foreign-born naturalized immigrants; taken together, these data suggest that the Asian American electorate is a relatively young voting bloc that hasn’t had time to develop a generational loyalty towards one party or another.

In California, a notoriously Democratic-leaning state, a recent poll (pdf; H/T: Samson Wong for sending the full report to me) conducted by the non-partisan research group The Field Poll, shows that most Chinese American, Korean American and Vietnamese American likely voters — somewhere between 30 and 50% for each — claim no party affiliation. This outnumbers voters of similar ethnicity who claimed either Democratic or Republican affiliation.

Compared to Black and Latino voters, Asian American voters even in the dark blue state of California are largely unaffiliated to either party.

In swing states like Nevada and Virginia, Asian American voters may be similarly up-for-grabs; in a recent op-ed, Asian American Democratic California Congressman Mike Honda wrote last week in an appeal to neighbouring voters in Nevada that nearly 1/3 of APIA voters nationwide remain undecided. And, although Asian Americans voted 3 to 1 in favour of President Obama and other Democrats in 2008 (and appear to be continuing in this trend in 2012), the recent California Field Poll data also suggests that Asian Americans do not vote blindly along party lines, particularly when it comes to some ballot initiatives. In California, for example, voters will be voting on Proposition 34 to repeal the death penalty, a position typically favoured by most Democrats. Although polled Chinese Americans and Korean Americans strongly support another ballot initiative supported by Democrats which would raise sales and income taxes for public education, Chinese and Korean American voters appear to be straying from the traditionally Leftist anti-death penalty position: only 1 in 4 polled Chinese and Korean voters are in favour of repealing the death penalty.

Percentage of polled voters who would vote “Yes” in favour of repealing the death penalty on Proposition 34; broken down by race/ethnicity (Field Poll).

So, what does this all tell us? First, Asian American voters aren’t married to the Democratic party or to Left-wing ideology in general. Even in the blue state of California, Asian American voters are less likely to align themselves with Democrats and are more willing to vote across party lines on some social issues. Second, Asian Americans make up a significant portion of registered, and likely, voters in two swing states critical for Romney’s path to 270 electoral votes: Nevada and Virginia. And, third, in 2008, two-thirds of Asian American voters cited the jobs and the economy as their key issue at the polls — an issue that the Republicans are claiming as the primary reason to vote President Obama out of office this year.

In short, Asian Americans are a bloc of voters in two hotly contested states large enough to swing the outcome in those states in a tight election, and the majority of whom could be persuaded to vote Republican in 2012.  

This should have been all the Romney camp needed to launch a cruise missile of targeted campaigning at the Asian American community in 2012.

When I googled “Asian Americans for Romney”, I got this photo taken by a Romney staff member, Lanhee Chen, headlining his piece “Why Asian-Americans Should Back Mitt Romney“.

Yet, after several months of national campaigning, it’s safe to say that Romney outreach to the Asian American community has been lacklustre at best. While both campaigns have launched Asian American-dedicated campaign websites, Romney’s Asian American oriented campaign site offers a single blog post written by Romney policy director Lanhee Chen, that basically served as a rough draft of the same talking points-based monologue delivered by the Big Guy himself in the video linked below. The site is also sparsely sprinkled with a few pictures of  Asian Americans gamely holding Romney signs.

By contrast, the Asian American and Pacific Islander for Obama campaign site offers dedicated fact sheets and volunteer opportunities, as well as a flurry of dedicated blog posts from Asian American Obama supporters writing from their personal experiences.

In fact, President Obama enjoys strong (and visible) support among notable Asian Americans, including John Cho (and Kal Penn) of Harold and Kumar fame. The campaign’s decision to share the voices of Asian American Obama supporters of diverse ages, genders and ethnicities helps to emphasize the campaign’s understanding of the diversity of the APIA community.

I wrote earlier last month about the stark contrast in the Romney and Obama Asian American voter sheets. The latter offered several pages of compelling and dedicated reasons for Asian American voters to re-elect President Obama. On the other hand, Mitt Romneys’ campaign offered a single-sheet of boilerplate talking points copied-and-pasted right off the Romney website, and which failed to even mention the phrase “Asian American” anywhere other than in the header.

In two web videos, the Romney and Obama campaigns appeal directly to Asian American voters. Romney’s video consists of 3 minutes of Governor Romney awkwardly addressing the camera, and — in a bizarre campaign decision — repeatedly using the phrase “your community” (as if to remind us that we are different from him). Again, he cites boilerplate reasons to support his candidacy; nothing in his language or his arguments is tailored to the Asian American voter.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=za32RG2hrSs

Contrast this half-hearted appeal with Romney’s enthusiastic promise to label China a “currency manipulator” on day one of his presidency; a promise that CNBC reports he would, as president, lack the legal authority to carry out. Romney has steered clear of demonstrating how his immigraton and education reform policies would impact Asian Americans, and has been silent on any campaign promise to enhance representation of Asian American judges and cabinet members (underrepresentation of Asian Americans in the highest echelons of this country’s political and judicial ranks is an important issue to many politicized Asian Americans).

Meanwhile, President Obama’s campaign released a video featuring multiple Asian American campaign volunteers offering compelling and personal stories for why they are supporting the president, and why you should too. The Obama video, like his APIA voter sheet, again hits the right tone by acknowledging the strong diversity among Asian American voters; a diversity that many would argue uniquely defines our particularly community. His video not only emphasizes President Obama’s record on issues that Asian Americans cares about, but his video helps cement a sense of community with the Obama campaign.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPjNd5l9FzE

Ultimately, it’s hard to make the argument that Asian Americans — who represent less than 5% of the national population and who are located primarily in safely blue states like California, New York, and New Jersey — could be capable of single-handedly delivering the White House to Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. But, it’s clear that Asian American voters — particularly those living in the swing states of Nevada and Virginia — were a missed opportunity for Governor Mitt Romney to gain an edge in two states that he needs to win; and a loss in those two key states could certainly cost Mitt Romney the White House.

Had Romney targeted Asian American voters nationally and in these swing states; had Romney been able to strike the right tone with Asian American voters that emphasized a sense of communal understanding, not “Other-izing”; had he been able to offer compelling arguments for why Asian Americans would stand to benefit more under a Romney presidency than under an Obama presidency; then, perhaps, Asian American voters in Nevada and Virginia might have been more inclined to support Governor Romney over the current president. And, had that been the case, perhaps Nevada and Virginia might be less of a battleground at 24 hours prior to Election Day than it is. And, if that were the case, perhaps Governor Romney might be sleeping a little more peacefully tonight than I’m sure he is.

But, as it stands, Governor Romney missed the boat with Asian Americans.  He missed the chance over the last several months to speak to Asian Americans like we are an educated, intelligent, and wide open bloc of voters, with nuanced and specific political interests. And consequently, it’s likely that Asian Americans will support President Obama in a similar majority as we did in 2008. And while I think that President Obama is the right choice for Asian Americans — and indeed all Americans — tomorrow, I do lament the fact that Romney and his campaign largely ignored our community, and in so doing missed an opportunity to bring us (and our issues) to higher national prominence.

Mitt Romney’s failure to speak to Asian American voters will cost him the White House. But, his silence has cost us the chance to see a true Democratic and Republican race for the Asian American vote.

Tomorrow is your chance to be heard. Please take the time tomorrow to go vote.

Voting information: Please vote tomorrow, November 6th. Google “Where Is My Polling Place” to get handy information about where you can vote. If you experience any issues voting, report those problems to AALDEF, and know your voting rights.

Have more questions about voting? Harold and Kumar are here to help:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAN256ydXUY

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