Asian-Americans Raise Political Profile
They've watched presidential hopefuls woo NASCAR dads, blacks in South Carolina and Hispanics in New Mexico, and now some Asian-Americans are wondering: What about us?
Saying they're tired of being overlooked, Asian-American activists are trying to make their voices heard by candidates and political parties. Eighteen groups jointly released a first-of-its-kind platform of their priorities for presidential candidates Thursday, while a separate effort is in the works aimed at persuading Asians to vote in a bloc for a single candidate.
Candidates look to Asians "for financial support for campaigns, but they're not reaching out to our communities in terms of caring about our votes." Though Asians comprise a small portion of the overall national population - about 4 percent - they are concentrated in key electoral states. In California, for example, there are 1.9 million Asian-American citizens of voting age; that exceeds the 1.3 million votes that separated President Bush and Al Gore in 2000.
When it comes to political parties, Asians are almost evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and independents.