Asian American voters are increasingly shifting towards the Republican Party, a recent study by the New York Times has found.
The influential demographic, which has historically leaned heavily toward the left, began leaning towards conservative candidates in the 2020 and 2022 elections.
While Asian voters still supported Democratic candidates in last year’s midterms, the margins lessened significantly based on past election returns and exit polls.
The report from The Times highlighted the shift in Sunset Park’s Chinatown area in Brooklyn, New York, which used to vote more than 70% Democrat.
As illustrated in a map created by Jason Kao, the community gave its support to Republican gubernatorial nominee Lee Zeldin, who won many of the majority-Asian districts in Brooklyn’s Chinese neighborhoods in the previous gubernatorial election.
More Asians also chose Republican candidates in statewide races in Florida and Georgia, giving them at least a third of their votes. A similar increase in Republican votes was seen in Texas and other states, reflecting a national trend.
The Times’ report attributed the shift to a number of factors, including the Republican party’s enhanced campaign efforts to reach Asian voters in recent years and the Democrats’ apparent leniency.
Democratic candidates’ policies and proposals on pressing issues affecting the community, such as merit-based school admissions, have resulted in voter frustrations.
Republican anti-crime rhetoric has also resonated with Asian voters amid the rise of anti-Asian violence in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shift comes amid the growth in voter participation among Asian Americans, who now make up over 18 million voters.
From the 42% of Asian American voters who cast their votes in 2018, the 2020 presidential election saw a 60% voter turnout for the community.
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund Executive Director Margaret Fung pointed out the importance of the increase in voter participation among Asians at the time.
Asian Americans, especially new voters, were part of the record turnout of communities of color in the 2020 elections. Asian American voters played an important role in close races in several battleground states, and our voices must not be overlooked in the political process.
A national poll of Asian American voters last year indicated that 44% of Asian Americans lean Democrat, while 19% consider themselves Republican and 29% identify as Independent.
Conducted by APIA Vote, AAPI Data and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center just a few months before the November election, the survey indicated how major political parties neglected to reach out and engage voters of Asian descent.