Nevada's Asian-American Voters Not Yet Courted

Tuesday, 30 Oct 2012 10:07 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Nevada’s Asian-Americans are feeling somewhat like an afterthought as the election gets closer and both parties court ethnic groups.
The Asian-American population, though, represents about 10 percent of Nevada voters, the Las Vegas Sun reports, and easily has numbers that can bridge the gap of votes need to determine the presidential and congressional races.
“We’re like everybody else; we care about the same issues. But we don’t see the candidates as often as they court the other groups. It’s disturbing — for the most part, we see you only in election years,” said Mike Vaswani, president of the Asian American Group, Las Vegas’ largest Asian-American organization.
The Asian community in Nevada is the fastest-growing minority population in the state, second only to Hispanics, and no party has firmly claimed them.
In recent surveys, Asians favored Democrats over Republicans by a 60-40 percent margin, but historically, they haven’t favored either party. Just 20 years ago, only about a third voted Democrat, and in the past decade, Democrats began claiming the majority vote.
And while Democrats say they’re trying everything they can to get Asians to the polls, Republicans are thinking this may be the year to secure more of their votes.
But the Asian-American voters polled in Las Vegas’ Chinatown said they have a number of political opinions.
For example, immigration issues are a big deal, said Lisa Drake, a Filipino-American who voted Democrat. Many Filipinos support the Dream Act because they face a wait period of about 20 years to get a green card.

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