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Campaign 2008

The Candidates and the World

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The Ethnic Vote

by Joanna Klonsky
November 4, 2008

Latino voters, in particular Cubans, garner most of the attention when U.S. presidential races are broken down into influential ethnic groups. But some smaller ethnic groups this year provide interesting insight into changing voting patterns. Here is a look at a few of these groups:

While Turkish-Americans typically vote for Republican candidates, conventional wisdom about the group is falling by the wayside in this election.

Newsweek reporters Bahar Kader and Melis Ă–zpinar write:

On the one hand, they feel closer to the Republicans because they feel the GOP has a more balanced approach to Turkish arguments on issues such as the Armenian genocide allegations and the dispute over Cyprus. On the other, they believe a Democratic leader will be better placed to solve the financial crisis and work toward achieving a more peaceful world.

ARMENIAN-AMERICANS: The Wall Street Journal‘s Washington Wire blog reports on the influence of the Armenian vote in Michigan’s 9th District, situated in the suburbs of Detroit. Reporter Easha Anand calls the impact of the Armenian vote in the area “an unknown factor” in the local Congressional race between incumbent Rep. Joe Knollenberg and Democratic challenger Gary Peters.

VIETNAMESE-AMERICANS: Vietnamese-Americans are divided along generational lines in this election in one part of California. A San Jose Mercury News analysis shows young Vietnamese-Americans in Santa Clara County, California are registered as Democrats over Republicans by a ratio of nearly four to one. Overall, though, Vietnamese emigres are largely Republican, as evidenced by a recent poll from the University of California-Berkeley and three other major universities. The poll showed all Asian-American groups except Vietnamese-Americans supporting Obama over McCain. Fifty-one percent of Vietnamese-Americans favored McCain while 24 percent supported Obama, according to the poll.

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