Major political parties not engaging communities in Asian American electorate enough, survey finds

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Major political parties not engaging Asian American voters: Survey
A new survey highlights the political power of Asian Americans leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. But neither major political party appears to be reaching out to enough to voters in those communities.

The latest bi-annual survey of Asian American voters tracks the group's continued enthusiasm in civic engagement.

"This builds on record levels of turnout that we saw among Asian American voters in 2018 and in 2020," said AAPI Data founder and director, Karthick Ramakrishnan.

The 2022 Asian American Voter Survey by APIAVote, AAPI Data, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC includes 1,610 registered Asian American voters across the country. It found more than two-thirds plan to vote in the upcoming November election. But with just over three months to go, voters say major parties are not reaching out.

"About a half of Asian American voters have been reached out to by either party," said Ramarkrishnan who is also dean of the UC Riverside School of Public Policy.

Sometimes outreach from groups like APIAVote is the first.

"You're leaving out people who are actually interested in voting, but they really are not getting the information and being engaged," said Christine Chen, Executive Director of APIAVote.

Ramakrishnan said parties and candidates are still waking up to the potential of this electorate. Some of the issues respondents ranked as extremely or very important heading into the November election include: health care, jobs and the economy, crime, education, gun control, and the environment.

The survey -- which included Chinese, Indian, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese Americans -- found overall, Asian Americans lean Democrat, 44%. While 19% consider themselves Republican, 29% Independent, and the remainder identify with another party or don't know.

"There is some diversity within the community," said Ramakrishnan. "When it comes to Vietnamese American voters, we see that when it comes to vote for House races, it's more of an even split and in fact with a slight Republican lean."

Jiny Kim, Vice President of Policy and Programs at Asian American Advancing Justice - Asian American Justice Center (Advancing Justice - AAJC) highlighted the diversity represented within this group by more than 50 ethnicities and about 100 languages. She says of those who speak a language other than English at home, 42% said they would use voting Assistance in languages other than English.

"So it is critical for our organizations to continue to advocate for language access to the ballot, fighting for voting rights of our community," said Kim.

The survey also found 73% of respondents worry about experiencing hate crimes, harassment, and discrimination at least sometimes, and 77% agree the U.S. should have stricter gun laws.

You can ready more on the survey's findings here.