Recent data shows that Asian-Americans are leaving the Republican party to vote Democrat.
Through the 1990s, Asian-Americans were more likely to vote Republican. It’s thought that Asian-American generally voted for the Republican candidate due to connecting with fiscally and socially conservative platforms. Asian-Americans voted Republican around 55% of the time during the 1992 presidential election between Republican George H.W. Bush and Democrat Bill Clinton (who ended up winning). The 2000 election became a turning point when more Asian-Americans began supporting the Democrat candidate. In 2012, Barack Obama won with Asian voters by “nearly 50 percentage points.” Karthick Ramakrishnan of the National Asian American Survey attributes this outcome to Democrats actively trying to win the Asian-American vote.
Party Identification Among Asian-Americans (NPR)
Over time, Asian-Americans gravitating towards the Democrats doesn’t seem like a big deal, and more like a natural shift over time. Except that it might not be. This fact becomes more important in this election where surveys have shown Asian-Americans rejecting many points of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s platform: keeping out and deporting immigrants, diplomacy with China, among other aspects.
But it’s too early to tell whether this shift for Asian-Americans toward the Democrats is a blip on the radar or foretelling a larger, more long-term trend. According to Ramakrishnan, it’s too early to tell. In 2015, 47% of Asian-Americans identified as politically independent.
In October 2016, a survey found that registered Asian-American voters supported Hillary Clinton over Trump by a 4-to-1 lead.
Granted, they’ve always been a force to be reckoned with. But now they’re becoming a powerful voting bloc that could decide this election.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed. Author Rebecca Traister’s book All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation focused on this demographic and how its members are shaping and redefining social norms when the book was released earlier this year. One of Traister’s sources, Page Gardner, predicted that “there could be more unmarried women in the electorate this year than married women — and they vote super left.”
Single Women On The Rise (NPR)
This trend gained steam in 2012. Single women comprised 53% of the voting population, and supported President Barack Obama at around 55%. Compare this to men, who supported Obama at around 45%.
And beware, these single ladies are selective with their votes: The results of the American Women Web survey in the Elle March 2016 issue found that 86% of single women, and 84% of overall women, would not vote for a candidate that was anti-women. This wasn’t partisan, since 73% of Republican women agreed with that statement.
Earlier this month, President Obama signed a very important bill. The Bathrooms Accessible in Every Situation (BABIES) Act requires government and federally-run buildings to provide babies’ changing tables in every restroom on the the premises. That’s right, babies’ changing tables will now be in both women’s and men’s bathrooms.
Previously, there was no such act that mandated changing tables in public bathrooms. And it’s common knowledge that changing tables are a much more common sight in women’s bathrooms than in men’s.
The BABIES Act was proposed in April by Rhode Island Democratic Representative David Cicilline. The measure was co-sponsored by 26 fellow Democrats and one Republican.
It’s fitting that the act was introduced and passed now: The move comes as parental leave, gender equality and division of household labor (which includes childcare) have become top of mind to many people, and a hot topic during this election season.
The new changing tables must be added within the next two years.
Last week, the Obama administration made a historic hiring: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is the first transgender person hired to serve the White House. She’s not only the first transgender person, but also the first transwoman.
Freedman-Gurspan comes with a lot of experience to her new role: She had previously served as policy adviser at the National Center for Transgender Equality, and will be the recruitment and outreach director on Obama’s staff.
While the administration has hired other transgender people to other government agencies, this is the first time a transgender person will work directly with the White House.
The hiring indicates that President Obama is becoming more comfortable in openly supporting the LGBT community: Earlier this year, he spoke out about ending conversion therapy for LGBT youth.
Big news last week: President Obama publicly stated that he supports banning conversion therapy for LGBT youth. The announcement came in response to an online petition urging the president to take action after transgender teen Leelah Alcorn’s suicide late last year. (Before her death, Alcorn’s parents had forced her to attend conversion therapy in hopes of getting their “son” back.)
Right now, it’s unclear what form Obama’s support will take. White House officials say that it’s unlikely that the president would push for a national law, but instead would “support the efforts to ban the practice at the state level.” It’s important to note that is a far cry from how Obama started his political career: At the time, he didn’t support gay marriage.
But the president’s views on LGBT issues are rapidly evolving, paving the way for the rest of America to follow suit. And change starts at home: The White House recently created an “all-gender” restroom for transmen and transwomen who may feel uncomfortable using the traditional facilities.