每日英語跟讀 Ep.K106: Amid Awakening, Asian Americans Are Still Taking Shape as a Political Force
For years, Asian Americans were among the least likely of any racial or ethnic group to vote or to join community or advocacy groups. Today they are surging into public life, running for office in record numbers and turning out to vote unlike ever before. They are now the fastest-growing group in the U.S. electorate.
But as a political force, Asian Americans are still taking shape. With a relatively short history of voting, they differ from demographic groups whose families have built party loyalties and voting tendencies over generations.
“These are your classic swing voters,” said Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of AAPI Data.
Historical data on Asian American voting patterns is spotty. Analyses of exit polls show that a majority voted for George Bush in 1992, Ramakrishnan said. Today, a majority of Asians vote for Democrats, but that masks deep differences by subgroup.
It is too early for final breakdowns of the Asian American vote in 2020, along either party or ethnic lines. But one thing seems clear:Turnout for Asian Americans appears to have been higher than it has ever been.
As relatively new voters, many Asian Americans find themselves uniquely interested in both major parties, drawn to Democrats for their stances on guns and health care and to Republicans for their support for small business and emphasis on self-reliance. But they do not fit into neat categories.
Former President Donald Trump’s repeated reference to the “China virus” repelled many Chinese American voters, and the Democrats’ support for affirmative action policies in schools has drawn strong opposition from some Asian groups. Even the violence and slurs against Asians, which began spiking after the coronavirus began to spread last spring, have pushed people in different directions politically. Some blame Trump and his followers. Others see Republicans as supporters of the police and law and order.
More Asian Americans are running for office than ever before. At least 158 Asian Americans ran for state legislatures in 2020, according to AAPI Data, up by 15% from 2018.
Asian Americans lean toward Democrats — all the more so among the American-born. But there are things pushing Asians away from the Democrats as well.
Despite recent increases in political representation, some Asian American communities still feel invisible, and some members argue that could lead to a rightward turn.
Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/5395759
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