Historic Quad-Partisan Presidential Election Forum Highlights Rising Influence of AAPI Vote

Bill Clinton, Sean Reyes, Gary Johnson, and Jill Stein Aim to Win Votes From Fastest Growing Racial Group

LAS VEGAS – On Friday, Hillary Clinton surrogate and former President Bill Clinton, Donald Trump surrogate and Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson, and Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein addressed more than 2,500 journalists and community leaders in the largest gathering of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) in the history of presidential campaign cycles.  

Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), with 40 partner organizations, hosted this historic Presidential Election Forum in the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, an election battleground state where nearly one in ten residents is AAPI.

“From Southeast Asia to the Indian subcontinent to Native Hawaiians, the AAPI community represents a heritage and history that spans the globe,” said APIAVote founding board member Daphne Kwok. “A recognition that this community is the lifeblood of our nation was cemented this week, as top campaign officials not only defined what AAPI meant to them personally, but also advanced discussions around how policies proposals from immigration and education to national security and trade are being focused on to empower the collective prospects of AAPIs across the country.”

During the forum, Rock the Vote announced its “Power Up” campaign, in partnership with APIAVote and youth organizations, focused on getting young AAPIs to vote. Congressman Mike Honda stated that 7,000 17-year-olds turn 18 every day. He also emphasized the power of AAPI voters to determine winners, particularly in six swing states and 85 congressional districts that are 10 percent AAPI.

AAPIs are the fastest growing racial group in the country, expected to grow from 20 million to more than 50 million by 2060. The rising influence of the AAPI community is evident in the past two election cycles, where the AAPI vote has been an important factor in election outcomes in key battleground states. In many of these states, the AAPI voter population either equaled or exceeded the margin of victory in previous presidential elections.

Congresswoman Judy Chu, who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), pointed out that in 2010, Nevada Senator Harry Reid won re-election in a tight race with the support of nearly four in five AAPI voters who made up four percent of the electorate.

Data from APIAVote’s 2016 State Factsheets show that nearly half of all registered Asian American voters identify education (48%), healthcare (47%), national security (47%), and jobs (45%) as extremely important to how they cast their ballot — issues that the Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, and Green Party representatives addressed in the forum. This same block of eligible AAPI voters also represents vital margins in swing states across the country, holding the key to determining the winner of the Presidential election.

  • Arizona: 146,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 3% of the electorate
  • Florida: 372,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 2.5% of the electorate
  • Michigan: 145,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.8% of the electorate
  • Minnesota: 136,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 3.1% of the electorate
  • Nevada: 177,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 9% of the electorate
  • North Carolina: 136,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.8% of the electorate
  • Ohio: 127,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 1.3% of the electorate
  • Pennsylvania: 223,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 2.1% of the electorate
  • Virginia: 310,000 eligible AAPI voters comprise 5% of the electorate

The historic forum plays a vital role in educating this segment of the electorate, ultimately empowering them to vote on Election Day and elevating their representative profile among national campaigns, voter mobilization programs, and global media outlets.

To access high-resolution photos from the event, visit here.

To access APIAVote’s 2016 State Factsheets, visit here.

A Word document press release can downloaded here.

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APIAVote to Release Preliminary Post-Election Results of Asian American Voters

APIAVote will co-host a webinar with Asian American Justice Center and the National Asian American Survey (NAAS) to discuss the preliminary findings of a post-election poll of Asian American voters. Conducted in nine different Asian languages, in addition to English and Spanish, this poll is the most comprehensive of its kind and demonstrates the strength, breadth and depth of AAPI voters, 71 percent of whom voted for President Barack Obama.

The webinar will be held on Wednesday, December 12, at 2 p.m. EST, and feature discussion and Q&A by Mee Moua, AAJC’s president and executive director, Christine Chen, APIAVote’s executive director, and Karthick Ramakrishnan, National Asian American Survey’s director.

Please register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7939506740883130368 for instructions on how to join the webinar. For an embargoed copy of the report, please email comrequests@advancingequality.org or call Kimberly Goulart at (202) 499-7027, x103.

This preliminary report, “Behind the Numbers: Post-Election Survey of Asian American Voters in 2012,” includes 2,785 interviews and builds on pre-election polls conducted by AAJC, APIA Vote and NAAS that showed an increase in voter enthusiasm, high levels of support for key issues such as healthcare, education and the economy, and an unprecedented number of undecided voters within the Asian American community.

A full report, with detailed findings and analysis based on 7,000 interviews and information on national origin groups and Pacific Islanders, will be released in early 2013.

The preliminary post-election poll report’s key findings include:

  • The Asian American electorate has been steadily growing with each presidential election and is projected to be close to 3% of all votes cast in the 2012 election. (pages 3-4)
  • 71% of Asian Americans voters in November 2012 cast their ballot for President Barack Obama, and 28% voted for Governor Mitt Romney. (page 5)
  • We estimate that about 3.2 million Asian Americans cast ballots in November 2012, with about 2.3 million for Barack Obama and 900,000 thousand for Mitt Romney. (page 5)
  • Obama’s total popular vote margin of victory is estimated at 4.7 million. The AAPI vote contributed a net 1.4 million votes to this margin. Without the AAPI vote, Obama’s popular vote margin would have been 3.3 million. (page 5)
  • In 2012, there was a significant increase in voter mobilization efforts by community organizations; still, most Asian American voters (65%) report that they received no contact about the election. (page 7)
  • Among those who were contacted by political parties, contact by Democrats was more frequent than contact by Republicans. (page 7)
  • On issues relevant to Asian American voters, the strongest gaps in support for Obama over Romney were on issues of immigration, racial discrimination, health and environment. The smallest gap was on national security issues. (page 9)
  • Nearly one half of Asian American registered voters remain independent or undecided with respect to their party identification, pointing to the possibility that many remain open to persuasion and outreach in future elections. (pages 9-10)

Source: APIAVote media advisory

Media Contact: Kimberly Goulart, (202) 499-7027, x103, comrequests@advancingequality.org

APIAVote Presidential Town Hall on July 21

Join the conversation on Twitter with #apiatownhall. If you are unable to attend a viewing party, a livestream will be available. Watch the hashtag for details.

Thousands of Asian American and Pacific Islander leaders and voters will participate in a presidential town hall forum sponsored by APIAVote at George Mason University in Northern Virginia on Saturday, July 21, at 3 p.m. ET.

Both President Obama and Governor Romney’s presidential campaigns have confirmed their participation. MSNBC anchor Richard Lui will moderate the forum while DNC Vice Chair Rep. Mike Honda represents Obama for America and former Rep. Tom Davis represents Mitt Romney for President.

Asian American and Pacific Islanders are the fastest growing racial group in the nation, according to recent Census figures, and close elections in important states like Virginia, Nevada, North Carolina and Florida could go to candidates who best engage the group. Presidential town hall viewing events are scheduled in Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.

APIAVote executive director Christine Chen urged political leaders across the country to pay attention the demographic with increasing political clout.

“Asian American and Pacific Islander voters are still largely untapped by presidential candidates and their parties even though they are expected to vote in record numbers this fall,” said Chen. “Candidates and parties ignore Asian American voters at their own peril.”

President Obama addressed hundreds of minority leaders at the APAICS gala dinner in the nation’s capital and the NALEO conference in Florida this year. Governor Romney addressed minority leaders at the NAACP and NALEO conferences. Vice President Biden addressed minority voters at the NCLR conference in Nevada and also addressed the NAACP’s gathering.

Read more details here.

‘The Rise of Asian Americans’ Report Released by Pew Research Center

Pew Research Center's "The Rise of Asian Americans" ReportUPDATE 7:20 P.M. PACIFIC: Numerous Asian American organizations issued statements expressing disappointment and concern with the report as presented by Pew.

The Pew Research Center just released a new report, “The Rise of Asian Americans,” painting a “comprehensive portrait of Asian Americans, examining their demographic characteristics, social and family values, education, economic circumstances and more.”

The report finds that Asian Americans are the “best-educated, highest-income, fastest-growing racial group” in the country and also explores six subgroups: Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Indian Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans, and Japanese Americans.

You can read the full report, view graphics showing key findings from the survey, and explore maps of Asian American populations by state and county.

Pew Research Center is webcasting its live panel event about the report on Tuesday, June 19, from 9:30 a.m. ET to Noon ET. The event will feature the following speakers:

  • Andrew Kohut (President, Pew Research Center)
  • Paul Taylor (Executive Vice President, Pew Research Center)
  • Cary Funk (Senior Researcher, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life)
  • Karthick Ramakrishnan (Associate Professor of Political Science, University of California, Riverside; Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars)
  • Tritia Toyota (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles)
  • D’Vera Cohn (Senior Writer, Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project)
  • Kim Parker (Associate Director, Pew Research Center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project)
  • The Honorable Elaine L. Chao (24th U.S. Secretary of Labor; First Asian Pacific American woman appointed to President’s Cabinet in American history)
  • Neera Tanden (President, Center for American Progress; Former Senior Advisor for Health Reform, Obama Administration)
  • Benjamin Wu (Vice Chair, U.S.-Asia Institute; Former U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce and Assistant Secretary for Technology Policy)

The Center is inviting questions during the event at https://www.facebook.com/pewresearch and on Twitter at #asianamericans.

It’s encouraging to see reports with better data being conducted about Asian Americans. Last month, a poll on Asian American voter attitudes was released by the Asian American Justice Center and the Asian American Institute (members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice), and APIAVote.

Conducted by Lake Research Partners, the poll found that that Asian Americans are still largely untapped by candidates for office and their political parties. The first-ever poll of Asian American voter attitudes shows that close elections in states with significant numbers of Asian American voters like California, Florida, Illinois, Nevada and Virginia could go to the candidates who best engage Asian Americans, a demographic with increasing political clout.