Asian Americans could be x factor in US swing states

Updated: 2012-10-28 09:11


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WASHINGTON - Asian Americans could determine the electoral outcome in US swing states with large Asian populations, as US President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are neck-and-neck in the race, experts said.

In undecided states with rapidly growing Asian-American populations such as Nevada and Virginia, Asian Americans could provide the push that puts either candidate over the finish line amid a neck-in-neck race, said Mee Moua, president of the Asian American Justice Center and former Minnesota state senator, in an interview with Xinhua.

Contrary to the often-held belief that Asian Americans are solidly in the corner of Democrats, Moua noted a 31 to 34 percent independent block within the Asian American community that is neither Democrat nor Republican.

"People should not write this community off as already... bought by the Democratic Party," she said last month at a panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Indeed, while Obama in the last election took 62 percent of the Asian American vote, the recession has had a devastating impact on small businesses and disproportionately impacted Asian Americans.

As such, the president is not faring as well with Asian voters as he did in 2008, said Henry Olsen, director of the National Research Initiative at the American Enterprise Institute, in a panel discussion at that think tank Thursday.

This comes amid a tightening race in which Romney on Friday tied Obama in Wisconsin after lagging behind by two points a week earlier, according to a Rasmussen poll. Obama has fallen slightly behind Romney in Florida, is locked neck-and-neck with Romney in Virginia and remains ahead in Ohio.

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