A recent poll of Asian American voters highlights how they remain virtually ignored as a political force by both the Republican and Democratic parties.
With the November elections just a few months away, major political parties have neglected to reach out and engage Asian voters, according to the 2022 Asian American Voter Survey.
The new poll, conducted by APIA Vote, AAPI Data and Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), highlighted how the community has shown continued enthusiasm for civic engagement this year.
AAPI Data founder and director Karthick Ramakrishnan noted that the trend “builds on record levels of turnout that we saw among Asian American voters in 2018 and in 2020.”
Ramarkrishnan, who also serves as the dean of the UC Riverside School of Public Policy, lamented how just “about a half of Asian American voters have been reached out to by either party.”
Christine Chen, executive director of APIAVote, noted the lost opportunity to engage an active electorate.
“You’re leaving out people who are actually interested in voting, but they really are not getting the information and being engaged,” she pointed out.
The survey, conducted between April 19 and June 19 this year, collected responses from 1,601 voters across the country, split between voters of Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese descent.
Based on the findings, 44% of Asian Americans lean Democrat, while 19% consider themselves Republican and 29% identify as Independent, with the rest either identifying with another party or without an answer at the time of the survey.
Citing the community’s diversity of opinions, Ramarkrishnan noted: “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 – AAJC, noted the importance of organizations continuing to “advocate for language access to the ballot, fighting for voting rights of our community.”
According to Kim, 42% of those who speak a language other than English at home would use voting assistance in those languages.
The poll also found that the issues the respondents considered as extremely or very important for the upcoming election are health care, jobs, the economy, crime, education, gun control and the environment.
Another major concern for the participants is safety, with 73% expressing concern about experiencing hate crimes, harassment and discrimination at least sometimes, while 77% believe the U.S. should have stricter gun laws.
Earlier this year, AAPI Democrats formed the super PAC (political action committee) Justice Unites Us aimed at engaging “AAPI voters and community leaders in order to increase turnout and drive up support for endorsed candidates.”
Such an effort may be necessary as a separate poll recently warned how Democrats are losing the support of AAPI voters in swing states, including Wisconsin, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Georgia.