Overestimating the significance of the Asian-American vote

Understanding Asian-American political behavior is surely interesting, but I am sorry to tell you that it does not have “important electoral ramifications,” as Cecilia Mo claims in this piece for The Conversation today.

Mo overestimates the significance of the Asian-American vote for several reasons. First, she confuses population size with population growth; the fact that the Asian-American vote has grown a lot over the past two decades does not matter because the share of the American population that is of Asian origin is tiny.

Second, the turnout among Asian-Americans is still embarrassingly low, and it is lower than among Hispanics, blacks, and whites. This is unlikely to change much any time soon.

Third, more than half of all Asian-Americans live in California, New York, Hawaii, Washington, and Massachusetts. These are hardly lean-Republican swing states where a few more Democratic votes could make a big difference and hurt the GOP.

Simon Hedlin

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