Even those who aren’t above noticing these sorts of things are still puzzled by some of the demographic trends from the election. Specifically, they’re troubled by the high percentage of Asians that voted for Obama and the high percentage of white people in upper Midwestern states that did the same.
Razib has some analysis of both cases.
First, on Asians, he thinks it’s all about religion.
I doubt this for lots of reasons. Even in western states (think Washington State) where there are lots of Asians and lots of non-religious (more libertarian) Republicans, I think Asians tend to vote Democratic at state and local levels.
If it’s really religion, wouldn’t Republicans do well with Koreans? When I first got to Seoul, I was struck by the number of crosses on display nearly everywhere. Yet, my informal and half-assed research would seem to indicate no difference between the Korean pattern of voting and the more general Asian pattern of voting.
It seems more likely to me that Asians vote democratic because Asians generally do what they’re supposed to do (and the Democrats are the ruling party) and because the Democrats are the party of minorities and Asians simply haven’t figured out that they’re not really minorities.
(I have Asian friends who constantly refer to large gatherings of Asians as diverse, when I object that such gatherings are worse than Klan rallies, they really don’t seem to be able to comprehend. Understanding complex political situations that defy rationality isn’t exactly something Asians are known for being good at, just saying.)
Second, on the upper Midwest, he highlights some of the relevant area. Note that he could also highlight large parts of Minnesota.
These are my people, so I feel as though I should defend them. I think they vote Democratic because Democratic ideas actually work in these parts of the country. I forget who it was that said all of Yglesias’ policy ideas start with the (unstated) assumption that everyone is Swedish (or Norwegian), but in this part of the country, that’s basically true.
Also, voting Democratic is the nice and polite thing to do, and everyone is nice and polite.