By Jeffrey Stein, CNN
(CNN) - Three times as many Asian-Americans have been running for Congress in 2012 than in the past two elections, a nonpartisan political group says, and it's a development that portends greater changes in demographic trends and reflects the recent political awakening of a minority group long confined to the margins of American society.
"It's extremely exciting," says Gloria Chan, president and CEO of the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies. "We could really stand to gain seats and affect the balance of power in Congress."
Including Pacific Islanders, 30 Asian-Americans launched campaigns for Congress this year, compared with 10 in 2010 and eight in 2008, according to an APICS count.
Though several of the Asian-American candidates lost their primaries, others stand to become the first people of Asian descent in their respective states - New York, Tennessee and Florida, for instance - to join the legislative body.