PO Box 101268
Arlington, VA 22210
300 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Suite 620
Oakland, CA 94612
WASHINGTON, May 1 (Reuters) - The fast-growing Asian American community is largely untapped by U.S. presidential candidates and their political parties even though they are expected to vote in record numbers this fall, an opinion poll showed on Tuesday.The Lake Research Partners poll showed that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders identified themselves as Democrats over Republicans by a three-to-one margin. But only about a third of them said they had been contacted by their party in the past two years.A majority of those who identified themselves as independents - usually a prime target of both parties - said they had not heard from the political parties at all."Presidential candidates and political parties ignore Asian Americans at their own peril," said pollster Celinda Lake."While Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders seem to prefer Democratic candidates, many don't really know the differences between Democrats and Republicans, because they haven't been engaged by either party," Lake said. "There's a real opportunity there to define the debate."The poll showed 3 in 10 of the 1,100 Asian Americans surveyed said they have no opinion of Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.While nearly three quarters of those surveyed viewed Democratic President Barack Obama favorably, they are not as happy with his job performance but said they believed the country was moving in the right direction.