Growing Asian American community could play bigger role in presidential race

Growing Asian American community could play bigger role in presidential race

The Asian American community represents 3 per cent of voters, but its political clout could increase as it is expected to swell to 10 per cent by 2044.

US Congress
The US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo: AFP/Mark Wilson)

WASHINGTON: The Asian American population in the United States represents 3 per cent of voters in the nation, and the community is expected to swell to 10 per cent by 2044.

There are currently about 18 million Asian Americans, and various political action groups have been calling on the community to mobilise and head to the polls.

"Most Asian Americans are recent immigrants - one generation or less. We are the fastest growing community in the United States; we’ve seen Latino groups decline in the United States and Asian Americans are rising,” said Varuna Nikore, spokesperson for the Asian American political action committee AAPI Victory Fund.

Republicans have struggled to get their message to resonate with Asian American voters. In contrast, in the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama attracted 72 per cent of Asian Americans’ support.

“If Hillary Clinton were to run against (Donald) Trump I think Asian support for Hillary would go through the roof, and that’s true of East Asians, Japanese, Koreans, Chinese and also South Asians who are growing in political influence,” said Jeremy Mayer, a political science professor at George Mason University.

For some, the controversial campaign rhetoric could actually motivate more Asian Americans to exercise their democratic right. Said Varuna: "I think it’s causing a lot of excitement and a lot of fear as well but I think there’s a lot of intrinsic motivators that are going into people wanting to go out and vote this time."

The United States will vote for its next president in November.

Source: CNA/xq

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