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8k8 777 slotsAsian Americans poised to play pivotal role in election

多图直击|特朗普竞选集会现场枪击事件 | 8k8 777 slots | Updated: 2024-07-21 14:37:37

President Joe Biden talks with Asian American workers during a stop at No. 1 Boba Tea during a stop in Las Vegas, Monday, Feb 5, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

Asian American voters have become an important voting bloc in the United States and could be decisive in who wins the presidential election in November, analysts say.

There are about 24 million Asian Americans in the country, according to the 2020 Census. At least 15 million are projected to be eligible to vote in the general election.

The Asian American and Pacific Islander community had the largest increase of voters of any racial or ethnic group between the 2016 and 2020 general elections, with turnout rising from 49 percent to 59 percent, the Census Bureau says.

It proved vital for Joe Biden in winning the presidency over Donald Trump in 2020 and is likely to be important again.

The last two presidential elections were decided by a margin of about 100,000 votes. In one of the key battleground states, Georgia, Asian American turnout rose 84 percent on the previous election.

"In 2020 Asian American voters turned out in record numbers, nearly 60 percent," said Christine Chen, executive director of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote, or APIAVote, a group in Washington.

"And this diverse voting bloc is the fastest growing in America, with Asian voter registration outpacing even the rapid population growth from 2000 to 2020 by a wide margin. With many local races decided by slim margins, the impact of AAPI voters can be decisive."

The Georgia Democratic Senator Raphael Warnock produced advertisements in Mandarin, Korean and Vietnamese to reach voters in the election to retain his senate seat in 2022. He won 78 percent of the vote in a runoff.

Making a difference

"Asian Americans were nearly unified in their support of Raphael Warnock for Senate and were likely the difference in this extremely close election," Jerry Vattamala, director of the democracy program of the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York, said in 2022.

Both Republican and Democratic national committees have announced plans to court the AAPI vote, which will account for 6.1 percent of eligible voters in November's election, the Pew Research Center projected.

The Republican National Committee has made what it calls a "multimillion-dollar commitment "to reach AAPIs in key states.

In March the Biden campaign produced an advertisement aimed at AAPIs. Last month it allocated at least $1 million of $14 million in election advertising funds for advertising targeting AAPI, black and Latino voters.

At least four in 10 of those who voted for Biden in 2020 were Asian, black or Hispanic, Pew said. Most AAPI voters live in five states: California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Texas.

California is the state with the highest number of eligible Asian voters at 4.4 million, followed by New York at 1.2 million, then Texas with 1.1 million and Hawaii and New Jersey, which have just more than 500,000 each.

One of their top concerns is inflation, according to a poll published last year by AAPI Data and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Asian voters are mostly Democrats. The party has the support of those of Chinese, Indian, Filipino and Korean descent, Pew said. But Vietnamese tended to vote Republican.

As both parties plan outreach, Chen said, half of those whom APIAVote polled said they had not been contacted by either party. She would like to see much more done "to bridge this gap, especially as AAPIs become the margin of victory in an increasing number of districts and states", she said.

For more than 10 years APIAVote has worked to ensure the community is engaged in politics even though they have been widely overlooked by the mainstream. It was one of the first to invest in AAPI civic engagement groups in key states such as Georgia, Arizona and Michigan.

The nonpartisan group has said it will spend more than $5 million as this year's general election approaches, with $3 million going to subgrants for local partner organizations' civic engagement efforts.

It will hold its National AAPI Leadership Summit next month, followed by a meeting at which it will unveil its biannual Asian American Voter Survey said to show the top issues for AAPI voters.

In addition, it will have a series of voter education videos to help AAPI voters in 30 states, a voter hotline, and recruit college campus youth ambassadors to implement voter engagement programs. It will also undertake a multilingual direct mail campaign.

The latter is especially crucial because 73 percent of Asian American voters cast their ballots early or by mail in 2022, Chen said. "The direct mail pieces contain vital voter information translated into 16 languages to ensure access for those with limited English proficiency."

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