Asian-Americans make big gains in 2012 election

  • Mazie Hirono

Although most of the talk about the United States' changing demographics and how they don't favor Republicans has concentrated on Latinos, the clout of Asian-Americans needs to be highlighted in the wake of Tuesday's general election.

For starters, President Obama took home 73 percent of the Asian vote, 11 percentage points better than his showing with that group in 2008, and 42 percent more than Bill Clinton received in 1992.

For all the discussion about Hispanics, the number of Asian-Americans in this country grew faster than them throughout the past decade. According to the Census Bureau, the number of Asian-Americans jumped from 11.9 million in 2000 to 17.3 million in 2010, a 46 percent growth rate.

On Tuesday, Hawaii elected Democratic Rep. Mazie Hirono to the U.S. Senate, making her the first Asian elected to that body.