A new survey by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake gives Obama a 34% lead among Asians in the key battleground state, leading Mitt Romney 54-20%. This is significant news given the growth of the ethnic group in Virginia over the last decade, especially the northern region. The state is 5.8% Asian, which is higher than the national average, according to the Census Bureau.
About a quarter of Virginia Asian-Americans, 26%, remain undecided though. And they are less enthused to vote for Obama than they were 2008, when they went 61-14% for him over Republican candidate John McCain.
Obama leads despite the fact that only 28% regard the economy as “good” or “excellent” and 71% regard it as “fair” or “poor”. They like Obama personally though: 67% regard him favorably while only 30% regard Romney favorably.
“What this data shows is that there is really potential for both parties to make major gains here,” said Lake in a conference call arranged by the group Asian & Pacific Islander American Vote and other Asian advocacy groups.
The largest individual ethnic groups in Virginia are Indians (23%), Koreans (22%), Chinese4 (19%) and Vietnamese (17%). The vast majority are immigrants. Only 23% are native-born Americans while 73% were born in another country and another 3% said they “didn’t know.”