Sunday 18th February 2018,

Bad Ass Asians

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NPR: Congressional race in Asian majority district drawing national attention

posted by Randall

Ro KhannaAsian Americans are the fastest growing group of voters in the US, reports NPR.

But according to PEW Research, they are also the least likely ethnic group to vote.

It’s with this contradictory backdrop that a lot of national attention has been focused on the congressional race in the 17th district of California in Silicon Valley.

Asian American voters will have a major say on who gets elected here. It is one of only two Asian American majority districts in the country.

The primary pits two Indian American candidates against 7 term incumbent and Japanese American Mike Honda, one of the most prominent Asian American political leaders in the country.Mike Honda

His biggest competition will come from the well financed Ro Khanna, a former member of the Obama administration, although the President has already endorsed Honda.

“Seeing someone from your own community is exciting,” says one Asian American voter about Khanna. “It makes a difference. You might be able to relate a little better to it.”

Particularly excited are Indian Americans, a community which has asserted great influence in recent years on Silicon Valley.

“Most everybody thought we were like snake charmers and cow worshippers. Now we’re like doctors and lawyers,” says one South Asian American voter who grew up in the Bay Area in the 1980’s.

But not all Indian Americans say they will vote for Khanna.

One told NPR Honda’s experience trumps ethnic affinity.

“This experience which has comes from fighting in Congress is very important. I have friends who won’t vote for him. Democracy is all about personal choices. Who you support.”

You can find out more about how ethnicity is impacting this race in the audio clip below from NPR.

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