In the fight for independents, Hispanics and women, Republicans and Democrats alike seem to have forgotten about one of the fastest growing populations in the United States, Asian Americans.
A poll out Tuesday shows that while Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are on the rise in important swing states like Nevada, Virginia and Florida, candidates from both parties are doing little to court them.
As evidence of how untapped the group is, Lake Research Partners, the firm that carried out the poll, says it was the first to survey Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders this election cycle.
"Presidential candidates and political parties ignore Asian American voters at their own peril," pollster Celinda Lake said. "While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders seem to prefer Democratic candidates, many don't really know the difference between Democrats and Republicans because they haven't been engaged by either party. There's a real opportunity there to define the debate."
More than 70 percent of Asian Americans reported having a favorable perception of President Barack Obama, but nearly one third of respondents said they had no opinion of presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney yet, giving Romney a huge opportunity to gain voters.
And while Asian Americans like the president's persona, when it comes to Obama's job performance Asian Americans were split evenly 49 percent to 49 percent pro and con. [See the latest political cartoons.]
The survey shows Democrats may be assuming Asian Americans are in the "win" column. But less than three out of 10 voters were contacted by the Democratic Party over a two year period, whereas nearly four in 10 had been contacted by the GOP .
"Taking these voters for granted in the short-run will have a big impact in the long-run because they're on a fast rise and they're very loyal," said Asian American Justice Center president Mee Moua, in a statement.
Of the more than 1,000 voters who were surveyed, 83 percent said they are certain they will vote in the election in 2012, and half said they are more excited about the 2012 election than they were about the 2008 election.