Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Emergence of a new Clinton Coalition

The results of Super Tuesday primaries left the democratic race where it started – a near even split of delegates for Obama and Clinton. As expected, Obama received strong support from African American, male and young (18-30) voters while Clinton solidified her standings with women, Hispanic and older (45 and above) voters.

Most interestingly, Super Tuesday witnessed the emergence of the Asian American voting bloc. While receiving little attention, Asian Americans were monumental in delivering the all important, delegate rich state – California – to Clinton. The U.S. Census Bureau shows Asian Americans make up about 14% of the population, the second largest minority group in California. Exit polls showed Clinton was able to blunt Obama’s African American support with strong Hispanic showings. However, it was the overwhelming Asian American votes Clinton carried by 3 to 1, that propelled her to a 52% victory.

Moving forward, Asian Americans and Hispanics will be a formidable firewall and perhaps a winning coalition that will give Clinton an edge in crucial states like Virginia, Washington, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Hawaii, and Texas. In addition to potentially having the first African American or woman president, we may have the first "Hispanic Asian" president in November.


The Political Bee-Yotch said...

It should not be such a surprise that Asians voted overwhelmingly for Hillary. The Asian community values a workhorse over a show horse. Although we represent many different nationalities, one unifying ideal that we all share is that hard work brings about great rewards. A hard work ethic is what truly brings about change.

With Hillary, you've got decades of achievement brought about by her hard work. With Obama, while he has achievements in his own right, he needs a bit more seasoning. I have no doubt that Obama will climb the depths of greatness, but right now, Hillary is more equipped to lead from the start. Listen closely to any of the debates that they have had. Hillary offers real, thought-out solutions to the ills that we face as a nation, while Barack relies on his hope and optimism.

The national media has largely ignored the power of the Asian voting community. Why is this the case? Could it be because we don't have prominent Asian-American politicians on the national level? Could it be that amongst all minorities, we are perceived as not having the major problems and issues that African-Americans and Latinos face? Mind you that this is a PERCEPTION and couldn't be farther from the reality, as evidenced by Asian gangs and Asian on Asian violence. Could it be that, on the whole, Asians are not as politically active as our other minority counterparts?

Whatever the case, at least in California, we have shown that we can see through all the BS - and as RFK's children put it so eloquently in their La Times endorsement of Hillary "all the loftiest prose" - and voted for the one who truly can bring about change precisely because of her experience... and the hard work ethic that she brings with it.

Keith Kamisugi said...

I am one Asian American who voted for Barack Obama.

Political Bee-Yotch is just regurgitating Clinton campaign talking points.

I consider Obama's work ethic to be superior to Hillary's. How else was a previously unknown Ill. Senator able to match the legendary Clinton's in this presidential race?

His Super Tuesday strategy was brilliant. His loss among Asian Americans in California cannot by any means be attributed to a myth that "we all like hard work" -- that is monolithic and simplistic in thinking.

Hillary is ready to start from Day One ... in the wrong direction. Experience in the wrong ways of doing things is not the experience we need. We need to turn the page and leverage the hope, drive and enthusiasm that Barack Obama has brought to so many people.

Finally, Barack Obama is the only Democrat in this race that can beat John McCain in the general. His irrefutable ability to draw from moderates and independents -- from Blue and Red states -- is exactly what we need in our nominee.

We can all agree that we don't want a third term for Bush. And that's what we'll get with McCain.

Finally, if you really believe in what your wrote, why not use your real name?

the political bee-yotch said...

Mr. Kamisugi is so right... I was "too simplistic and monolithic" in my thinking... which is why Hillary won 86% of the Asian vote in NY (91% of Asian women) and 73% of the Asian vote in NJ - higher percentages than even in CA, and let's remember that after CA, those two states have high Asian populations. Hmmmm.. very interesting.

It's not a myth that Asians value a hard work ethic... unless you're an American-born Asian who hasn't had to struggle with immigrant issues and trying to make it in this land of opportunity, since everything would have been handed down to you. So, before you call this valuation of a hard work ethic a myth, please do a self-evaluation and discern how YOUR point of view and station in life might color your own perceptions and your own values. I haven't yet met an Asian, whatever nationality, that didn't value a hard work ethic.

The question was asked how "a previously unknown Ill. Senator was able to match the legendary Clinton's in this presidential race.." it's quite simple, really. It's because of the anti-Hillary (and anti-Bill) sentiment that permeates the Beltway and the national media. Why else would Obama get the backing of all these so-called establishment figures in the Democratic field? Why else would he get a pass from the likes of MSNBC and CNN while Hillary's every foible is examined with a fine-toothed comb? It's okay to not vote for a woman because mysoginy is prevalent in American society, and it's not just men that are guilty of this. Yet if one talks ill of Obama, one is deemed a racist immediately. Just look at what happened to Bill in South Carolina (though to be fair, he didn't help the cause with his misdirected comments).

As far as McCain, he has actually been more liberal than most of his Republican counterparts. Just look at the furor his presumptive road to the nomination has caused. The fact that Ann Coultier would endorse Hillary over McCain speaks volumes. If Obama wins the nomination, my vote will definitely go to McCain.

Oh, and don't even accuse me of spouting "talking points." Did you read what YOU posted?

Go said...

To add to the mixture, I wanted to post this article I read today.

According to exit polls, overwhelming number of LGBTs voted for Hillary in New York and California.

Another Clinton Coalition?

Jay said...

The facts: Obama is, plainly speaking just unpopular and unimpressive to Asians and Latinos. His resume outside of his Senate win is nothing to be excited about. Many Latinos and Asians have done much more than that. And giving a decent speech in his preacher like oratory fails to make him special. There are thousands great speakers in America. On the same token his debate skills as one of my latino friends recently said are "unimpressive and novice." While Hillary is considered to be true friend to our communities. Nominating Obama may swing these voting groups more to Republicans in the general election. Obama talks about no red or blue states, but nominating him will certainly convert some blue states to red. I guarantee he loses every swing state with large latino populations and losing large portions of the Asian vote if not all to a McCain. These are just the facts. If Democrats want any chance of winning in November they need to be more realistic and support Hillary. If not, more blue states will become red. I admire Hillary but support no one yet, but I will say that she is only one that can pick up the swing states due to her Latino and Asian backing. Democrats will be massacred with Obama as a nominee. I want to see change but only Hillary has a chance of beating McCain. Otherwise Florida, Ohio, Arizona, and maybe many more states go to McCain. These are real facts.

Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to think that the "elite/educated" and "white men" supporting Obama are doing so only because Hillary presents the only real prospect of positive change for those in lower socioeconomic strata.

Conspiracy theory it may be.

The Political Bee-Yotch said...

The percentages I gave above came from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).

In response to Anonymous' posting, white men do not support Hillary because of overt or underlying mysogyny, plain and simple. As far as the "elite/educated" - I can only surmise that they're trying to remain relevant, knowing that the core constituency of the Democratic party, namely, the blue-collar/working class, overwhelmingly support Hillary because she's been a champion for them for so long.

Anonymous said...

The problem that Hillary supporters fail to recognize is that the 90's every happened. Why do you all continue to block out all the negative things that occured because of the devisive nature of the Clintons? Don't you all remember Newt Gingrich, the Moral Majority and Ken Starr??? These people gained so much power and influence because so many people despised the Clintons. I would even say that if we did not have the Clintons in the 90s, we would not have ended up with Bush in the 2000s. Please listen to moderates and independents. Please remember the reality of the 90s, not just the economics. Please realize that Democrats love Clinton, but a wide range of Democrats, Independents and Republics like Obama. Don't love for Clinton because you think she is Bill, vote for the person who can get the Republicans out of the white house.

Jay said...

The Clintons were pretty great for our community no matter how you dice it. A roaring economy is the most important thing for us Asian Americans. And Obamas "hope, change, future" is just talk and sounds like a lot of BS. I think some people are just foolish in supporting him. I think whites are trying to show they are nice to blacks and blacks are trying to back their guy.

Let's face it Obama can't beat McCain. Only Clinton has a shot because she is smart enough to find a way. I despise the media for trying to force Obama onto us. His coverage is always good but they guy has no substance.

UrBoo said...

Those of you who suggest some strong correlation between a presidential candidate’s experience and their success in office ignore the lion’s share of American history that suggests the opposite or at least muddies the equivalence. Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Wilson, and Kennedy had relatively skimpy legislative resumes and limited policy experience before they were elected presidents. However, their presidencies are considered the most successfully transformative eras in American history. On the other hand Presidents Buchanan, Taft, Polk, Andrew Johnson, Jackson and Nixon, who had extensive political backgrounds, are considered to be just average or top the list of the worst presidents in American history.

Consider the experience of our secretaries of state Kissinger, Powell, Rice—fourth in line to the presidency, right? Brilliant individuals and experienced policy practitioners, right? Did their decisions make American better, stronger? Well, only if you consider our involvement in Vietnam, Cambodia, Iraq, and misgivings about imminent Al-Qaida attacks on America examples of successful policy decisions. It seems the most experienced executives have only “been ready on day one” to fight old battles and pander to most narrow interests groups, leaving them incapable of addressing broad grassroots concerns and confronting immediate global threats.

Clinton II is just another example of that sad fact--doesn’t matter she may share our liberal democratic sensibilities. Grassroots America is not deceived by her “Ready on Day 1” rhetoric or unproven arguments about “experience.” We want a transformative leader who can make American better for ALL Americans and for the world. Experience has its place but is not sufficient to lead; certainly it doesn’t guarantee success in office or good policy practice. Indeed, too much experience in Washington has either benefited the few or has proven disastrous for all. Consider that when you vote for “experience.”

UrBoo said...

I'm not a big proponent of arguing over statistics and polls, for the reason certain supporters use them to argue for Clinton’s "popularity" and her "strength" with such-and-such ethnic group. Elections aren't determined by statistic and polls; they are determined by the aspiration of citizens. And I, for one, am not a statistic. Are you? Cherrypicking stats might inflate your ethnic ego but it is misses the point that this is a national election for a unified Democratic party candidate voted by secret ballot by HUMANS who are not compelled to participate in exit polls or analog telephone surveys, or speak truthfully when they do. Since both candidates are likely to end up with almost equal number of delegates, you’re arguments now over statistic are divisive and distract from the bigger national picture. I'm also disappointed that some speak of Asian and Latino "voting power," and "expected" African American support for Obama--as if African Americans aren’t political mature or just too lazy to consider voting for the best, "hard working" candidate. Bullshit! Such arguments are so factually incorrect and narrow, offering them as proof of Clinton’s popularity only appears disingenuous, ignorant, and totally racialist. For shame!

Jay said...


All this stuff that you are talking about sounds good in philosophy class, I'm looking for the real deal. I'm looking for some crazy revolution. If you want that you can go South America and support the rebels or something. I think Asians, Latinos and most everyone actually, want money, security, and prosperty. We could care less about Washington. We just wawnt someone who can take care of that for us while we focus on our lives. Clintons have done it before and they can do it again. I don't need some whack job Obama coming in and I can't even predict what this guy is going to be like because he basically votes present so many tmes. He's the unknown. I'm not about to take some stupid leap of faith. I mean what is this, is he the second coming of Jesus. That's some crazy stuff man.