Marking the closing of this year’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (which is celebrated every year for the month of May), eight of Congress’ Asian American Democratic members came together this week to shoot a video honouring the history and contributions of the AAPI community (after the jump).
Representatives Mark Takano, Doris Matsui ,Ted Lieu, Ami Bera, Judy Chu and Mike Honda of California were joined by their colleagues Rep. Grace Meng of New York and Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii to film the three-and-a-half minute video highlighting the accomplishments of historic Asian American civil rights icons such as Fred Korematsu and Dalip Singh Saund, as well as the growing number of young Asian Americans — most of them Democrats — who are dedicating their lives to public service.
Traditionally viewed as a swing electorate, uncommitted to either the Republican or Democratic party, the Asian American community is increasingly swinging left. The updated results of the National Asian American Survey (NAAS) — sponsored jointly by AAPIData, AAAJ and APIAVote and released this Monday — confirms what many of us within the community have long already observed anecdotally: more than 64% of Asian Americans have a favourable opinion of the Democratic party, compared to only 31% who view the Republican party favourably.
These ratings have increased in the two years since 2014, when the same investigators found 55% of Asian Americans to view the Democratic party favourably. Study authors speculate that xenophobic and nativist sentiment routinely expressed by Republican elected officials — and in particular, its presumptive presidential nominee — have only served to further alienate Asian American voters. Indeed, this year’s NAAS reveals that 4 out of 10 Asian American voters would vote against a candidate they otherwise completely agreed with if that candidate expressed anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim viewpoints.
This should send a strong message to any Republican National Committee leaders who are paying attention: racism is costly. Republicans can no longer afford to continue to forget their own advice on navigating America’s increasing multiculturalism. Asian American voters — who are the fastest-growing minority group in the country and currently include 6 million registered voters — will not abide by bigotry and hate.
If the Asian American vote is up for grabs, only one party appears interested in reaching out to us and engaging us.
The DNC urges us to learn more about their outreach efforts to the AAPI community. Learn more by visiting my.democrats.org/progressaapi.