Asian American Vote Swings Republican?

Asian American vote
In this most recent midterm election, citizens hailing from China, Vietnam, Korea, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and more, participated in the growing swing of the Asian American electorate voting Republican. Members of both parties are trying to pinpoint what is causing a possible change towards the traditionally more socially and fiscally conservative party and away from the more racially and ethnically diverse Democratic party.

Republicans are courting Asian American voters in an effort to move the dial to the right. It seems to be working. This expansive and diverse immigrant population is critical to the GOP’s efforts to rebuild its party. The Asian American voter is seen as a “margin of victory,” especially in more challenging races.

Asian American voteIn the midterm election, 49 percent of Asian Americans who participated in exit polls supported Republican candidates. The number doubled since Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful 2012 run for the presidency.

The outreach was done as an effort to sway the midterm elections. This is just a “dry run,” however for the 2016 presidential race. The Republican party vows to extend its reach beyond its traditional voters, who are largely white.

The candidates greet audiences and send out election mailers in multiple Asian languages. They have brought on Asian community leaders to help them with campaigning efforts, while saying that they commit to increase opportunities broadly to all citizens. They sometimes hold well-funded events at Asian restaurants in Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipino and Indian communities, to interest prospective voters.

Some candidates are well-versed in geopolitical issues that affect Asians. In other cases, the candidates have not “done their homework” on issues important to Asian voters, such as policy issues regarding their homelands. Asian American voters sometimes question why elected officials only seem to show up just prior to an election.

Asian American votePolls show that prior to the national election in which Clinton was re-elected, GOP presidential candidates had successfully won the Asian American vote – specifically in the 1988, 1992 and 1996 elections. It was during Clinton’s presidency that the Asian American vote started its swing away from Republicans.

Asian Americans cite the lack of visible Asian Republicans and policies on immigration as reasons for avoiding the party. Asian American vote for Democrats contributed to a landslide victory in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections for Obama.

In the recent midterm election, however, the pendulum has begun to shift back. One reason is the fiscal focus of the Republican party. Asian Americans, though diverse as a group, are champions of small business. They are stronger financially and in terms of education than any other racial segment in the United States.

Focuses of this fastest-growing minority population include hard work, career success, marriage, and parenthood, in addition to an interest in increased services from big government. All of this suggests a shift back to greater Republican engagement beginning with this recent midterm election.

One of the strongest reasons cited in recent polls as why Asian Americans are voting Republican is the importance of foreign policy and public perception of President Obama’s struggles in this area. Another reason is the Republican dedicated effort to attract the Asian American population.

In key races in Colorado and Virginia, the Republic National Committee (RNC) made this group a focus. In Virginia, Asian Americans have become much more significant than in prior years, making up one-twentieth of the population. This is an increase of 68 percent from ten years ago.

In California and other states, Asian Americans were an important component of targeted congressional races this past midterm election. It still remains to be seen what the result of Republican efforts will be and if the Asian American vote will continue in its swing to the right for the 2016 presidential election.

By Fern Remedi-Brown

The Wall Street Journal
South China Morning Post, World (Bloomberg)

One Response to "Asian American Vote Swings Republican?"

  1. Suzy000   February 19, 2019 at 9:04 am

    I totally disagree and am dismayed that this author missed the very reasons why the Asians have swung back. Either she is oblivious OR her true colors of party partisan played a role. She did list what’s important and yet either purposely or stupidly failed to mention the truth. Number 1….marriage she said is important. What stand did Barack take after he was elected regarding marriage? We all know that answer. Secondly….business ownership/jobs are very important to Asians. What did Barack do after winning the election? Anybody want to say “regulations and taxes”? He made it nearly impossible for small business to get off the ground and or expand. Parenthood….we saw cases like up in New England where the government interfered in a parent’s decision to get their daughter medical help. We have also seen where liberal courts are handing down judgements against the parent in gender transformation. When you put all this together, it smells of socialism…something the majority of Asians don’t ever want to see again. Anyway…what do I know? I am just an American voter who happens to feel that most Americans no matter their heritage, want to have nothing to do with socialism or their candidates. To get their vote and many others, Obama had to declare marriage was between a man or a woman just like Clinton did. Clinton held to that philosophy throughout his terms. He also was tough on crime and revamped the welfare program making it harder to get welfare. They called Clinton the lst Black President…I call him a GOPer in Democrat robes. The American Asian saw that too!


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