Why Asians Voted 3-to-1 for Obama: “It’s the Coolness, Stupid”

Asians are the per-capita wealthiest racial-group in the USA, and in 2012 Obama was clearly the “tax the rich” candidate. Yet Obama easily won the Asian vote, by an overwhelming 3-to-1 margin. How can one explain Asians’ enthusiasm for a candidate so totally-contrary to their economic interest?

On the one hand, it is tempting to quote Lee Kwan Yew again in this case…

In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests or social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion

…and wash one’s hands of the matter.

On the other hand, the case of the Asians deserves a closer look, in light of their so-called “model minority” status in the USA, and their increasing importance in world affairs generally. An excellent analysis of the “Asians for Obama” phenomenon, one that makes a lot of sense to me, was written by an anonymous commenter at Steve Sailer’s [I have added a title, I hope the anon will forgive me]:

Asians for Obama: It’s the ‘Coolness’, Stupid

There are only two ways that parties can win over the electorate: plainly giving them what they want OR being associated with ‘correct values’ or ‘hip image’. Dems won the Blacks by giving them welfare, government jobs, and ‘affirmative action’. Dems also won Hispanics by offering welfare and amnesty. Now, Dems didn’t do much for Asians and indeed didn’t even reach out to Asians, so why did Asians go with Dems? Because for Asians, the Democratic Party is ASSOCIATED with cool, hip, and attractive things.

A lot of Asian-Americans are well-educated, which means they’re well-indoctrinated by the teachings of leftist/radical/decadent/liberal/whatever Jewish or gay professors who dominate the academia. Asians also love pop culture. Asians tend to be more respectful of authority, and it just so happens that most of the top institutions are dominated by liberals. And so, Asians come to associate liberalism with good, correct, wonderful, hip, and moral stuff. So, even if Democrats don’t reach out to Asians directly, many Asians feel that the Democratic party is the place of the cool and hip. They go over to the Democrats on their own.

After all, aspiring Asians soon learn that most successful Jews and Whites are Democrats and socially liberal. Asians are status seekers, and so they naturally follow along. Asians tend to be conformists, and they will readily conform to whatever the prevailing ideology or attitude is. If Asians attend elite schools, they will soak up the attitudes and values of their professors and Jewish peers. Also, Asians are sick of the lame and wimpy ‘model minority’ tag. It implies they are loyal dogs rather than cool uppity rebels like Blacks. And so, Asians don’t wanna be tagged with conservatism. Depending on the prevailing authority, Asians are the quickest to become leftist or rightist.

I find this a reasonable, well-rounded, and compelling explanation for Asian voting patterns in 2012.

Another Sailer commenter, fnn, writes:

Asians come to the US and they are smart enough to quickly discover that being anti-white is essential part of hegemonic ideology of US ruling class. They instinctively know it is best for their future in the US to conform to hegemonic ideology that says that good Whites are religiously committed to self-extinction and others should agree.

Commenter peterike writes:

Why is anyone surprised by the Asian vote? Asians are super status conscious. In other words, they are basically SWPL voters. They may not know jack about any actual political issues, but they know exactly who the cooler candidate is, and that’s who they vote for.

In addition, young Asians that go to American schools actually pay attention, so they eagerly soak up the Gramscian propaganda they are fed. Liberals are made, not born. And Asians, being good little learners, listen to what they are told. My bet is that 95% of the Asians in the 18-25 demo that voted for Obama did so because of the “Republican war on women.”

The American Conservative article on Asian support for Obama notes that “57.5 percent of employed Asian-Americans who are 25 or older have an academic degree, a proportion that is 60 percent higher than among whites and more than twice that of blacks.”

Peterike sums up:

Asians will never vote majority Republican. Not that it matters anyway, because we will never again have a Republican President.

This is reminiscent of the message of my recent post “Will There Ever be a White President of the USA Again?

An anonymous commenter at the same Steve Sailer thread writes:

Understand why Jews go 2-1 Democrat [actually 4-to-1 in 2008, and 25-to-10 in 2012 --Hail], despite being the wealthiest demographic, and you’ll understand why Asians are the same.

Hint: It has nothing to do with Israel.

This is the point I was trying to make to Staffan here. Still, I don’t believe that Asian support for the Democrat Obama is quite the same as Jewish support — the latter of which is clearly ethnic in motivation. I think the original mini-essay reproduced in this post, far above (“It’s the coolness, stupid”), is a more compelling, fuller picture.

Finally, a commenter named Felix speculates about the future, trying to reconcile Asian support for Obama with economic reality, by imagining a future race-based taxation system (something I had never considered, but actually seems somewhat plausible to be a reality a generation from now):

The question is, what do the Asians think is the end game? They are allying themselves with American society’s leeches (NAMs) against its productive component, which consists of whites and-ironically-Asians themselves. Somebody is going to have to pay for all the gimmedats. It makes little sense for the country’s wealthiest racial group to vote for a party who’s main policy is wealth transfer from rich groups to poor groups.

The only way way this can possibly work for Asians is if at some future point when whites have become politically all but utterly irrelevant, tax is collected not only based on income but also race. When the democrats (or whatever other name the future dominant party may go by) can win power with 0% of the white vote, it’s not hard to imagine them instituting differential taxation based on race, whereby whites pay taxes not just according to what they earn but also according to their “past sins.” Under such a system Asians could escape the brunt of the financial punishment from being a part of a wealth transference society. I’m not sure though whether their voting patterns stem from such far-sighted strategizing or just retardedness.

“It’s the coolness, stupid” is an alternative title to this entry. An alternative to that alternative-title could be to replace the comma with a slash and add an ‘-ity’ at the end (thus becoming “It’s the coolness/stupidity”).

In other words, Asians ostensibly vote for Obama because that’s the hip thing to do, but actually it is just a manifestation of short-sighted stupidity (‘retardedness’, in the wording of Felix, directly above), as Obama will certainly hurt their economic interests.

Are Asians that short-sighted? I don’t think it is realistic to think so. What other explanation do we have? We thus come back full circle to Lee Kwan Yew: Many Asians probably voted against Romney because he was White, just like five out of every six Nonwhite voters did, and just like the USA has been training its people to do for decades. To some extent, Asians are doing what they were trained to do, what all Americans have been trained to do to some extent, by the process of socialization in the late-20th-century and early 21st-century USA.

Single White Women Under 35 For Obama
Some are saying that Obama’s strong showing among [single] White women is a major cause for concern. (Obama beat Romney 55%-43% among straight never-married White women, age 18-34 — though Obama lost this age-group of White women overall, 48%-50%). I say, rather, that this is a case of mistaking the symptom for the cause.

Depending on the prevailing authority, Asians are the quickest to become leftist or rightist“, the reposted essay above says. Women are also definite political “followers”, tending, more-so than men, to just parrot what they think is the dominant, dynamic, or establishment view, what seems ‘cool’ or strong at the time. Change the Ruling Ideology, and women will become partisans on behalf of the new one.

In a very different political situation, in 1920s and early 1930s Spain, the left-wing in Spain was strongly opposed to giving women the right to vote, fearing enfranchised women would just vote for right-wing patriarchal parties (which they did, more than men), because they’d been taught to. That is what they were socialized to believe was the dynamic (‘cool’, if you will) and proper political orientation. Culture changes first. Politics follows.

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25 Responses to Why Asians Voted 3-to-1 for Obama: “It’s the Coolness, Stupid”

  1. asdf says:

    Asians are also beta males. In fact they are often the sexual jokes on most college campuses. Anything that can be seen as raising their status and possibly getting them co-ed snatch will be embraced (the fact that the democratic party is the “pro sex” party appeals to them as well).

    Also, the people they likely hate the most are athletes. And at elite schools they aren’t necessarily blacks (that’s most a giant school college football thing) but preppy whites. For instance around JHU here the high status sport is lacrosse and they are white, usually from reasonably well off families, and often politically conservative.

    Think about when Roissy posted the Enraged Asian Rioter meme. That kid has a LOT of pent of sexual frustration. Anyone who claims to help get him snatch will get his vote.

    • Jason (Heart of Gold) says:

      He’s not the only one with pent up anger.

      My people are clueless but we will rise to the challenge. We’re all in this together and some of us can see past the idiot left bullshit.

      • A Caucasian Asian says:

        I don’t believe any Asian whatsoever voted for Obama because he’s “the coolness”. You people really don’t understand Asians. Want to know how to understand Asians? Just see them as you see anyone else. Most Asians in the states are actually just plain old Americans. Seems like racism is only getting worse and worse as our media turns crappier and crappier. Surprised nobody actually cares about the correlation, but anyway. I’m pretty sure more Asians voted for Obama because of what he represents. The fact that a minority can take office. Each minority group has their own set of racist bullshit that they’ve had thrown at them in their life, and continue to deal with on a daily basis. I think people are beginning to realize that minorities together, be they Black, Hispanic, Asian, interracial, actually pose a threat to the current status quo. Perhaps another reason why racism has only been increasing. At any rate, the face of America is changing, whether you like it or not. Deal with it. Minorities for the future.

  2. Frank says:

    Razib Khan of GNXP argues that religion determines politics for Asians:


    “Barry Kosmin has documented that between 1990 and 2010 Asian Americans have become far less Christian, on average. Meanwhile, the Republican party has become far more Christian in terms of its identity. Do you really require more than two sentences to infer from this what the outcome will be in terms of how Asian Americans will vote?

    Below I took the data from Pew’s Religious Identification Survey in terms of how all Americans lean politically based on religion, and compared it to how Asian Americans lean based on religion.

    All Americans Lean Rep/Rep Lean Dem/Dem No Lean
    Evangelical Churches 50% 34% 16%
    Mainline Churches 41% 43% 16%
    Catholics 33% 48% 19%
    Buddhists 18% 67% 15%
    Hindus 13% 63% 24%
    Unaffiliated 23% 55% 23%

    Asian Americans
    Evangelical Churches 56% 28% 16%
    Mainline Churches 37% 44% 18%
    Catholics 42% 41% 17%
    Buddhists 27% 56% 17%
    Hindus 9% 72% 19%
    Unaffiliated 21% 63% 16%

    Now compare the above to the breakdown of Asian American religiosity. Over half of Asian Americans are non-Christian. The track record of non-Christians voting for Republicans in today’s America is not good. In contrast, Asian American lean toward Republicans is fine, assuming that they are Christian (the Evangelical group above excludes historically black churches). Asian American Catholics are somewhat more Democrat than white non-Hispanic Catholics, but far less than Hispanic Catholics. But the issue is that Christians, aggregating the Evangelical, Mainline, and Catholic categories together, only make up ~40 percent of the Asian American population. In 1990 60 percent of Asian Americans were Christian. Today 30 percent follow non-Christian religions. In 1990 15 percent did.

    These data may not explain all the variation between then and now (the two causal factors being the growing identification of the Republican party with Christianity, and the growing non-Christianity of Asian America), but they can explain most of the variation.”

    • Hail says:

      Interesting, but…

      George W. Bush got 44% of the Asian vote in 2004. Compared to 2012′s lopsided results among all Nonwhites (Asians included), 2004 was really a split decision: 127 Asian Kerry voters for every 100 Asian Bush voters.

      In 2004, religion/Christianity was a much more salient campaign issue, too. Khan says Christianity turns off Asians these days, but it sure didn’t seem to in 2004.

      Does Razib Khan mean to tell us that, in the past eight years, Christianity has collapsed among Asian Americans? And collapsed so totally, that the split decision of 2004 became a lopsided, 3-to-1 blowout in 2012, with Asians repudiating the Republicans for their Christianity? That just…doesn’t make any sense to me. Especially in light of the fact that religion seemed to play no role in the campaign of 2012.

      The key difference between 2004 and 2012 is obvious: In 2004, two very-similar-seeming (“WASP”-seeming) men opposed each other, Kerry and Bush. So there was no overt racial angle to the campaign. In 2008 and 2012 (in which Asians strongly voted Democrat) there was Obama, the Nonwhite Candidate, against two WASP-seeming opponents, and Asians rallied around the colors (so to speak). So it’s about race. To the extent that Razib Khan has a point, and Asians are “turned off by Christianity in the Republican Party”, that’s likely a proxy for race, as well.

  3. coldequation6 says:

    There’s a strange affinity between Asians and terrible government. Left to their own devices, they often seem to come up with something like North Korea, the Tokugawa Shogunate (which purposely kept Japan backwards for centuries), the suicidal lunatics of Imperial Japan, the batshit crazy Mao, etc (some Chinese dynasties would also fit in this list). These governments seem to be relatively stable, in the absence of external forces overthrowing them. This is probably a large part of the reason why whites ended up colonizing Asians, and not the other way around, despite the fact that Asians are at least as smart as whites.

    • Hail says:

      These governments seem to be relatively stable

      It seems to me that East-Asians value stability above all else. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s certainly a different way of looking at the world.

      Western proverb: “The squeaky wheel gets the grease”.
      Eastern proverb: “The nail that sticks out, is the nail that gets hit down”.

      In terms of quality of government, I can say that East-Asians are generally lacking in leadership skill, at all levels, in my experience. Their (Confucian-based) cultures train them to obey, and the skills needed to effectively lead any complex endeavor are not really cultivated, or even valued, in many ways, it seems to me.

    • Bill says:

      The Edo period, the period in Japan under the rule of the Tokugawa Shogunate, is actually looked upon fondly and as a model by some contemporary Japanese:


      More strikingly, stagnation has found its promoters in Japan itself. A leading public intellectual Naoki Inose, who is also Tokyo’s vice governor, has declared that “the era of growth is over.” When Japan was threatened by western imperialism, he says, the country had to open up (in 1868) and modernise. This process has been completed. Japan is now ready to reconnect with its own tradition of social harmony and zero growth.

      Referring to the 1600-1868 period, Inose calls this future the New Edo era: “A smaller population will enjoy the sufficient wealth that has been accumulated, and, from now on, it will invest its creativity in refining the culture.” The first Edo collapsed when the United States navy opened up the Japanese market with the arrival of Commodore Perry’s “black ships” in 1853. Will the second Edo be able to resist Chinese ambitions? “The New Edo era needs a strong Japanese army,” admits Inose.

      This second Edo era may sound like a poetic utopia, but it has some influence: Sakakibara observes that Japanese students do not study abroad anymore and that “nobody learns English”. At a time when South Koreans are becoming more globalised, learning English, and welcoming a growing number of immigrants, Japan is entering a “deglobalisation process”.

      • Hail says:

        Great article. Thank you, Bill.

        From the comments section of that article:

        PhilipD wrote:
        “Part of Japan’s [economic] problems is due to being stuck in a classic deflationary cycle (which is why Keynesians have been shouting so long and with such futility that deflation is a much more dangerous enemy than inflation), but also because of deep structural problems within Japan. Quite simply, the Japanese economic system was built for rapid growth and expansion, but not for the flexibility required for sustainable long term growth. The concensus system was great for building up large companies, but failed to provide a mechanism for those companies to evolve and change with time, and so they became the problem, not the solution.“

        This may fit generally with Cold-Equation’s original point, and your general point, Bill, about East-Asians setting up systems that tend towards stagnation.

      • hayes says:

        The author of that article, Guy Sorman, is a Jew (based in France) who promotes globalism, neo-liberalism (i.e. free trade, open borders), Cultural Marxism, etc.

      • Steve Sailer says:

        The Edo period in Japan was a period of a reasonably vibrant, dynamic culture that was inventing new things, such as sumo, geisha girls, pop culture art, and much else that we think of today as traditionally Japanese. Japan was not progressing as fast as Europe in 1601-1853, but it was the only non-European culture that was progressing at that time. For example, if you look at the eminent individuals in Charles Murray’s Human Accomplishment database, the Arabs, the Indians, and the Chinese had all fall into a worse torpor by the early modern era so that very few eminent individuals within their own traditions come from this period. For the Japanese, however, lots of great Japanese artists and intellectuals come from this period. This relative dynamism of Edo era Japan helps explain how they could make the switch in the 19th Century to European ways so much more successfully than most other countries.

  4. Sgt. Joe Friday says:

    There could be another explanation. Asian cultures, with the possible exception of Japan, are notoriously corrupt. I think Asians (and Latin Americans) might simply gravitate toward a party that presents greater opporunities for graft, patronage, and quid pro quo deal making. Not that the GOP doesn’t do all this, but they’re pikers compared to the Democrats.

  5. Bob Windup says:

    Interesting post. But given that almost 50% of Asians voted Bush in 2004, doesn’t that contradict the suggestion that status drives their vote? Are you saying that Bush was somehow “cooler” than Kerry? Plus, why are highly educated Asians only just now showing signs of leftist university indoctrination, when they didn’t seem to show signs of it in 2004?

    My guess is that much of Romney’s foreign policy rhetoric, and stance on immigration, seemed xenophobic – many of my Asian friends feel a sense of threat from America’s political xenophobia and believe that it can be potentially life-threatening for them.

    At the end of the day I see no reason to believe that Asians voted the way they did for any other reason than they looked at the policies each candidate proposed and decided that Romney’s would be ultimately detrimental to their community. After all Romney didn’t even try to reach out to the Asian vote. Plus, maybe they’re more capable of spotting a bullshitter than we give them credit for!

    • Hail says:

      Are you saying that Bush was somehow “cooler” than Kerry“?

      It seems to me that Kerry was, himself, definitively not “cool”. Neither was Gore. In Kerry’s case, he looked and seemed vaguely like a Boston Brahmin. Despite being a Catholic of half-Jewish ancestral-origin, Kerry’s Northeastern-WASP-Patrician vibe lost him any possible coolness points in the 2000s-USA.

      This is not to say that Bush was “cool”. But it is to say that this “coolness” was not a factor in 2000 or 2004. Obama is the “cool” candidate, and he was marketed that way. He filled a void that has existed for a generation or so in America: Hollywood, and so on, had been propping up this image of Nonwhite coolness, and Obama stumbled into it. His appeal was all about image. It certainly wasn’t about experience (he had had very little).

    • Hail says:

      “[Maybe Asians] decided that Romney would be ultimately detrimental to their community

      Economically, they would have been clear beneficiaries of a Romney White House, moreso than any other group. Asians are smart enough to know this. But again, they were swayed by — I think — the Coolness factor, and the Race factor. (The two are hand-in-glove, to a large extent, in today’s USA).

      • Bob Windup says:

        I don’t buy it. The Dems are the progressive party, and have been that since JFK – they are the cool party and therefore their candidates are cool by default. Bill Clinton was considered very cool, but Asians didn’t care for him. It just doesn’t make sense to say that a community would makes election decisions based on some coolness factor.

        If you are saying that being black made him cool in the eyes of Asians, then that doesn’t make sense either – consider the black/Asian tensions and conflicts in America’s urban areas. Asians don’t necessarily think that blacks are cool.

    • Hail says:

      Thanks for this, Falko.

      That article seems to make the same points as the OP here:

      Examined more closely, the Asian paradox seems to consist of affluent, hard-working family-oriented Asians basically espousing the views of SWPLs. …

      …a major part of the mystery can be explained by focusing on the essential racial differences in character between Whites and Asians.

      One of the chief characteristics of people of Northern European origin is an abundance of “alpha types.” It has been speculated that our attempts to deal with this has been the foundation of our democratic tendencies, and something which has driven our overachievement in so many fields. It is also the reason why we love to squabble among ourselves, even when the enemy is at the gates. Asians, by contrast, tend to be a bit more beta, a bit more follower, and a lot less leader, which means that they can create stable but often stagnant hierarchical societies. These contrasting patterns seem strongly encoded in the differing histories of Northern Europeans and Asians.

      One of the keys elements of the Asian mind that I have become aware after many years living in Japan is its suggestibility and deference to what it sees as the dominant view. In my experience this has usually been my view. This is often based on politeness, a non-confrontational attitude, and a desire to please.

      This fits pretty exactly with what the points the anonymous Sailer commenter makes, whose comment I made the core of this post.

  6. cynthiacurran says:

    Asians actually have a high poverty rate than whties and most polls were done in the Bay area and New York city , Seattle and LA. In Orange County which has more asians than Seattle no polls were done Obama won in cities with larger asian populations in Orange County IRvine about 53 percent but whittes tend to be a little more liberal compared to other OC ciites. In the Bay area Obama got 79 percent among Asians in Orange County about 53 to 55 and in Wesminster Vitenamise he only recieved about

  7. cynthiacurran says:

    49 percent of there vote and Romney about 48 percent. As mention asian vote was more liberal in the polling since it was taken from more liberal cities while hispanic polling was more accurate since it included liberal and conservative towns.

  8. look at states like New York, San Francisco, Chicago as large
    Asian population centers and you get the democratic vote. They buy into the democratic BS. While highly educated and often achieving much more than whites and minorities in public schools they are probbaly being influenced in a liberal education system. The y will come around when they realize that cool doesnt equal effective. When government disrupts the growth or survivabilty of their businesses.

  9. Mike says:

    i’m asian and this one’s easy. asians are the highest paid and most conservative group in the united states but… it took obama to bring to light what the republican party was really about. asians in general are very decent people and we’ve sided with the only party that has shown fairness and decency to all people. uh, we don’t care about cool. haha. that was funny.

    • no, just no says:

      “we’ve sided with the only party that has shown fairness and decency to all people.” you sided with a party that has been involved with the murder of American citizens (Anwar al-Aulaqi and his 16 year old son) and running guns for Mexican drug cartels….so wtf are you talking about?

  10. fred says:

    Asians aren’t so smart after all… ;)

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