The strength of the AAPI vote was seen in critical swing states, including Georgia, over the past year. Jessica McGowan / Getty Images Hide caption
Jessica McGowan / Getty Images
Jessica McGowan / Getty Images
Census data recently out shows that Asian Americans increased their turnout by more than any other racial or ethnic group between the 2016 and 2020 US presidential election.
Their turnout rose 10 percentage points, while Hispanic and white voters gained 6 percentage points and black voters rose 3 points.
More specifically, Karthick Ramakrishnan – professor at the University of California, Riverside and director of AAPI data – – told Juana Summers from NPR That turnout increased 11 percentage points for citizens who identify themselves as Asian Americans and 14 points for Pacific islanders.
For context as a demographic reporter Ron Brownstein points this outBoth numbers are more than the increase in black voters between 2004 and 2008, when Barack Obama, who became the first black president, voted.
Kamala Harris, whose parents were immigrants from Jamaica and India, is the first person of Asian descent to serve as vice president.
National, numbers TargetSmart, a Democratic election data provider, shows that the total number of votes cast by Asian Americans increased by around 47% between 2016 and 2020, more than any other group. Overall, the votes cast by voters rose by around 12%.
Additionally, TargetSmart found that nearly half of all AAPI voters who cast a vote in 2020 did not vote in 2016 and a quarter had never voted in an election before.
The strength of the AAPI vote was also seen in critical swing states.
“In every single battlefield state, AAPI voter turnout increased more than any other group (compared to 2016),” said Bonier, a veteran democratic strategist who leads TargetSmart. wrote shortly after election day.
There have been significant leaps in Georgia and Arizona, he notes, and AAPI voters are significant parts of the electorate in Nevada, Arizona, and Michigan as well.
With End polls This shows that President Biden won the Asian American voters by a margin of nearly 2 to 1. Possibly they made the difference in his victory – although, according to these polls, he only made up about 4% of the total vote.
To highlight how important each vote was and how close the election was due to the electoral college, Bonier stated in a separate email analysis earlier this month: “A move of just 21,459 votes from Biden to Trump would have the result for 2020 conversely, presidential elections. That corresponds to a hundredth of a percent of the record turnout of more than 158 million votes cast. “
According to TargetSmart data, the AAPI voter turnout increased 62,000 votes compared to 2016, and Biden won the state by less than 12,000 votes.
“The turnout of the AAPI increased in all of the president’s battlefield states 357,969 Votes, a staggering 48% increase in turnout, “wrote Bonier.
AAPI voters are not a monolith. For example, as the NPR Summers noted, “Indian Americans are more likely to be Democrats than other Asian ethnic groups.” according to the Pew Research Center, while Vietnamese Americans are more likely to identify as Republicans. “
A 2018 AAPI data collection among AAPI voters found that Asian Americans had a 52% positive rating for the Democratic Party and only 34% positive for the GOP.
However, there were large differences in perception by country of origin. For example, Vietnamese and Filipino Americans had 48% positive views on the Republican Party, compared with just 14% of Japanese Americans and 20% of Chinese Americans.
However, overall AAPI voters used to be more Republican and have become more democratic in recent years. A few years ago, Pew found that two-thirds of Asian Americans are now turning to the Democratic Party. After September 11, it was almost the same between the parties, and the gap had closed somewhat around the 2012 elections.
But it has expanded since then and seemed to solidify as Li Zhou of Vox during the Trump era wrote 2019: “As the Republican Party has moved to the right, particularly on immigration issues, Asian American voters are increasingly joining the Democrats. Since 2016, Trump’s presidency has only compounded that shift, with the White House focusing on combating immigration Politics that put voters off even more. “
And that was before the coronavirus pandemic and former President Donald Trump’s use of racist epithets to describe them, like the “China virus” and even the “kung flu”. Asian Americans have become increasingly victims of violent crime since the pandemic began.
This may have resulted in activists being able to organize a more engaged Asian-American electorate in key states.
“A complex messaging environment,” wrote Bonier, “including a president using racist terms related to the coronavirus, Asian Americans exposed to racist attacks in their communities, AAPI voters dealing with the Black Lives Matter- Ally movement, and a vice presidential candidate with. ” The AAPI legacy has likely all contributed to this organizational effort. “
On Thursday, Biden incorporated into the Hate Crime Act with an emphasis on those aimed at Asian Americans.
AAPI voters are unlikely to gain strength unless the country continues to diversify. Asian Americans are that fastest growing racial or ethnic group in the country. They have seen a whopping 81% growth since 2000 and are projected to double in the total population by 2060 6% to 9% of the US population.
When it comes to politics, it’s all about which states are growing in. And the highest growth rates for Asian Americans were in places like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Indiana, as well as key president battlefield states in the diversifying sunbelt – North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.
“This second generation is getting more and more political and especially at this moment of COVID and the rise in anti-Asian racism and hate incidents you are seeing a kind of political awareness that is about to build up and likely to last a generation,” Ramakrishnan told NPR’s Summers. “So I think, looking ahead, we will see a lot more civic engagement and political activism among the younger Asian American population, especially given the circumstances over the past year.”