The Lessons the Democratic Party Must Learn About Asian American Voters to Win in 2020

Kamala Harris (middle) pictured at a campaign event. (Photo credit: Ebony)

For over a decade, political strategists have contemplated tactics for winning over the Asian American electorate. Routinely noted as one of the fastest-growing electorates in the country, Asian Americans currently make up about 5% of the electorate and is projected to double to over 12 million voters by 2040. Because Asian Americans are geographically concentrated in a few states, their impact on state and local elections in these states is even higher: in California, for example, Asian American voters wield profound influence in the heavily-Asian American Orange County. In swing states like Virginia, the Asian American electorate is large enough to swing narrow elections; indeed, Senator Hillary Clinton narrowly won the state in 2016 by a margin smaller than the number of Asian American voters in the state.

Going forward, Democrats need to include Asian American voters as part of its core base, and as part of its fundamental electoral strategy.

As the Democratic party sets its sights on the presidential election in 2020 — and the first opportunity for voters to unseat President Trump at the ballot box — The New York Times reports that several early voices have emerged as potential candidates to take the Democratic presidential nomination. They include Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris as well as former Vice President Joe Biden.

The speculation around these rumored candidacies is fierce; but all of these candidates must implement the following lessons as they advance towards the 2020 election season, particularly when it comes to courting the “sleeping giant” of Asian American voters.

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Asian Americans Run for Something: Tara Sreekrishnan | Candidate for CA Cupertino, City Council

Tara Sreekrishnan

This year, a record number of Asian Americans are running for public office at the local, state, and national level. Reappropriate has partnered with Run for Something — a non-profit launched in 2017 to support grassroots campaigns to elect progressive candidates — to profile these progressive Asian American candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2018 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.

What is your full name?
Tara Sreekrishnan

What office are you seeking?
CA Cupertino City Council

When is the election date?
November 6, 2018

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

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Asian Americans Run for Something: Ben Ku | Candidate for GA Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 2

Ben Ku, Candidate for Georgia Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 2

This year, a record number of Asian Americans are running for public office at the local, state, and national level. Reappropriate has partnered with Run for Something — a non-profit launched in 2017 to support grassroots campaigns to elect progressive candidates — to profile these progressive Asian American candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2018 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.

What is your full name?
Ben Ku

What office are you seeking?
Georgia Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 2

When is the election date?
I am facing an opponent in the Democratic primary opponent, which will be held on May 22. If I win the primary election, I will face a Republican incumbent opponent in the general election on November 6.

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

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Asian Americans Run for Something: Rui Xu | Candidate for KS State Representative, 25th House District

Rui Xu, Candidate for KS State Representative, 25th House District. (Photo credit: Simon Kuo, All Rights Reserved. For licensing information please contact Simon Kuo at simon.x.kuo@gmail.com or call 816-237-0052 (USA))

This year, a record number of Asian Americans are running for public office at the local, state, and national level. Reappropriate has partnered with Run for Something — a non-profit launched in 2017 to support grassroots campaigns to elect progressive candidates — to profile these progressive Asian American candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2018 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.

What is your full name?
Rui Xu

What office are you seeking?
State Representative in Kansas’ 25th House District

When is the election date?
There is currently no primary challenger, but that election would be August 7, 2018.  The general election is November 6, 2018.

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

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Asian Americans Run for Something: Ashwani Jain | Candidate for MD Montgomery County Council, At-Large

Ashwani Jain (Photo credit: Ashwani Jain)

This year, a record number of Asian Americans are running for public office at the local, state, and national level. Reappropriate has partnered with Run for Something — a non-profit launched in 2017 to support grassroots campaigns to elect progressive candidates — to profile these progressive Asian American candidates for higher office. Check back at Reappropriate throughout 2018 to learn more about these candidates and find out how you can get more involved in their campaigns.

What is your full name?
Ashwani Jain

What office are you seeking?
Montgomery County Council, At-Large – Maryland

When is the election date?
Primary – June 26th
General – November 6th

What is your party registration (if any)?
Democrat

Continue reading “Asian Americans Run for Something: Ashwani Jain | Candidate for MD Montgomery County Council, At-Large”