There are approximately 18.4 million Asian Americans in the United States. Asian Americans are considered the fastest-growing ethnic group in the nation, and each year they gain more electoral power, especially in swing states and key states such as Georgia. In 2020, the efforts of Black, Latino, and Asian American voters led the state to deliver its 16 electoral votes to Joe Biden, which allowed the Democratic candidate to secure a decisive victory over Republican candidate Donald Trump. However, oftentimes Asian Americans are not contacted or catered to by political parties, as their influence is underestimated. The impact of the Asian American vote cannot be understated, and the outcomes of the 2022 midterm elections further support this assertion.
One may ask the question: What do AAPI voters want? What issues do they prioritize? According to the Asian American Voter Survey conducted by APIAVOTE, 88% of Asian American voters ranked healthcare and jobs as important issues that would influence their vote in midterms. 86% marked the economy as important, and 82% of Asian Americans prioritized education. 77% of Asian American respondents believe the U.S. should have stricter gun laws, and 59% strongly support a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants. 56% of Asian American respondents hold a favorable view of Joe Biden while only 29% have a favorable view of Donald Trump. When asked if they worry about hate crimes, 73% of Asian Americans responded yes, and of that percentage, support for Democratic candidates was stronger than support for Republican candidates by a 3-to-1 margin.
According to an NBC News exit poll, 58% of Asian American voters voted Democrat and 42% voted Republican. In swing states like Georgia, 66% of Asian Americans cast their support behind Democratic candidates, while 30% voted for Republican candidates. In Nevada and Pennsylvania, Asian American voters leaned even further to the left with about two-thirds of Asian American voters favoring Democratic candidates in the House and Senate.
However, this is not to say that Asian Americans always vote Democrat. Texas was an outlier in the major races of the 2022 midterm elections. Approximately 52% of Asian American voters in Texas voted for Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who won re-election, and 46% voted for Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke. Researchers postulate that Asian Americans voted Republican due to their concerns regarding the economy, which they have been shown to prioritize in elections. Their vote was decisive in this case, and it will continue to be so in future elections.
The Asian American vote matters. As the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, we wield immense voting power that only increases every year. That is why it is important that the AAPI community is politically active. Together we can make the difference we want to see in the United States. There are many ways to get involved in the political community at UCLA. Listed below are a few organizations you can join to further your involvement in politics: