May 22, 2006
Asian-Americans and Democrats

Interesting article about demographic changes in Texas and their effect on the electoral landscape.

The Asian-American community, which is approaching the growth rate of Latinos in some parts of Texas, contributes to a shifting demographic landscape that may eventually return the state to Democratic control, according to a panelist discussing the group's emergence Saturday at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

The diversity of the cultures and languages encompassed by the Census Bureau category of "Asian" makes it difficult to reliably chart voting trends, said Robert Stein, dean of the School of Social Sciences at Rice University. But he added that the group clearly resists voting Republican; a shift that is otherwise common to upwardly mobile populations.

Stein spoke at the seventh annual convention of the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development.

"Asian-Americans are coming into the electorate at higher rates than any other group," he said.

Stein made his comments during a panel discussion of a national report that names Houston as an emerging hub of the Asian-American community.

The report, "A Community of Contrasts: Asian-American and Pacific Islanders in the United States," also lists Atlanta, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Seattle as cities being transformed by a growing Asian presence.

That report can be found here (PDF). It should be noted that as recently as 2004, Asian-Americans were considered a group with no clear partisan preferences. It's not a surprise that there might be a shift towards the Democrats, given national trends, but more data is always nice. The article doesn't really articulate the connection between "greater Asian-American voting strength" and "more Democrats".

The Asian-American population in Harris County nearly doubled between 1990 and 2004, from 110,000 to 217,000, panelists said. The growth rate in nearby Fort Bend County was even faster, increasing from 14,000 to 67,000 in the same period, according to the report.

And there's a couple of good Democrats who happen to be Asian-Americans running for office in Fort Bend County. We'll see how they do.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 22, 2006 to Show Business for Ugly People | TrackBack