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Who Asian Americans are putting their money on in the 2020 Democratic Presidential Race

Cory Booker
Cory Booker greets protesters at a rally by AFGE. Photo from AFGE via Wikipedia Creative Commons

An analysis by researcher and PhD candidate Sono Shah for AAPI Data finds Sen Cory Booker (D-NJ) leads the money race among Asian Americans in the 2020 Democratic race for president, but Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) aren’t far behind.

Using data made public by the Federal Elections Committee, Shah determined Booker has raised just under $395,000 from Asian Americans. Gabbard has received $390,000 in support from Asian Americans while Sen. Harris has generated $322,000.

Far behind in the money race is the rest of the crowded field with Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT), $124,000 and Andrew Yang, $119,000, topping the next tier. Sanders polled very well with Asian Americans in the 2016 election, while Yang has generated more buzz and support than most analysts expected.

AAPI Data- asian donors to dem 2019

The vast majority of support from Asian Americans for Booker comes from his home state of New Jersey, along with New York and California.

Harris has large support among Indian Americans, but many are not aware of her heritage. Her father is Jamaica and her mother is from India.

Gabbard and Yang have not polled well in national polls, yet Yang has proven proficient in raising money, especially considering his name recognition is not large. Gabbard is the nation’s first Hindu member of Congress and could generate significant support among Indian and other Asian American voters.

NBC points out that FEC data does not capture contributions under $200, which could have potentially skewed Shah’s study. In addition, the study by Shah is based on surname, which means Asian American voters who married outside their race or may be biracial could have been missed.


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