The defeat of Republican Congressional candidate Young Kim in a formerly GOP stronghold in Southern California confirmed a trend that began at least 10 years ago-Asian Americans have left the Republican Party and are now vote overwhelmingly Democrat, reports the conservative Washington Times.
According to the Times, candidates like Kim had been part of a major party effort to shed its “old white male” image and attract Asian American voters to the Republican Party.
“In the Trump era, and particularly in the midterms, the trend we have seen with Asian Americans being solid Democrat voters was confirmed,” said Louis Desipio, a political scientist from UC Irvine. “I think we saw that in a couple of the congressional races where the Asian American electorate voted Democratic despite the fact you had a Republican Asian American candidate.”
In 1998, a PEW Research Center study found 53 percent of Asian Americans identified as Democrats compared to 33 percent Republican. Today, 68 percent of Asians Americans are Democrats and just 27 percent Republican.
According to The Independent, the shift to even greater Democratic support began in 2008 with the election of Barrack Obama. Data compiled by AAPI Data found that until then, voting among Asian Americans skewed Republican. By 2016, 72 percent voted for Hillary Clinton with Trump getting just 27 percent support.
“For many South Asian American communities the familiarity with leveraging party politics is new, we come from communities and a culture where politics is a dirty business, where it’s usually associated with corruption,” said Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of the advocacy group South Asian Americans Leading Together (Saalt).
Maggie Tsai of One APIA in Nevada told the Independent she agrees.
“I think our communities are realizing these external dynamics, policies, and forces are deeply impacting us, particularly on immigration,” she said.
On issues Asian Americans particularly care about- health care, immigration and gun control- Democrats do better.
“Where the Republicans are doing a little bit better is around national security, and jobs and the economy, but even then Democrats are neck and neck or a little bit better than them,” Christine Chen, of the non-partisan voter education group, APIA Vote, said to the Washington Times.
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