Anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim rhetoric in political discourse pushes Asian American voters leftward, survey finds

A report released yesterday by a group of Asian American organizations — Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote) and AAPI Data — indicated that more than 40 percent of Asian American voters said they would not vote for a candidate espousing anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim views.


“The survey shows that Asian Americans are paying close attention to political discourse, and will not vote for a candidate expressing exclusionary rhetoric that only serves to separate communities. Anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim language will not win over Asian American voters,” said Mee Moua, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

The report, “Inclusion, Not Exclusion: Spring 2016 Asian American Voter Survey,” suggests the exclusionary language from the Right as a likely cause for a leftward shift in Asian American voters. From 2012 to 2016, Asian Americans who identify as Democrats increased by 12 percentage points.

Meanwhile, according to the Pew Research Center, the Asian American electorate as a whole has grown by 16 percent over the last four years, compared to a 5 percent growth in the general electorate and a 2 percent growth in eligible white voters over the same period.

“Candidates on both sides of the aisle need to pay attention to our community,” Moua said, “but our survey continues to show that the majority of Asian American voters have not been contacted by political parties in the past year.”

APIAVote noted in an earlier report that in the previous presidential election cycle, 80 percent of Asian American registered voters in the South had not been contacted about the 2012 election.

“Voter outreach and education by nonpartisan organizations remains critical and 2016 is poised to be the largest mobilization effort we have seen for the AAPI community,” said Christine Chen, executive director of APIAVote. “The survey shows key problem spots where Asian American registered voters feel that the political system is not responsive to their needs. Greater investments are needed from the campaigns and parties.”

Some highlights from the “Inclusion, Not Exclusion” report:

  • Donald Trump has the highest net unfavorable view among Asian American voters. (19% favorable-61% unfavorable, compared to 41% favorable-56% unfavorable among the general population)
  • Hillary Clinton has the highest net favorable view among Asian American voters. (62% favorable-26% unfavorable)
  • Bernie Sanders struggles to gain recognition among Asian American voters (48% favorable, 22% unfavorable, and 30% with no opinion).
  • Democrats hold nearly a 2:1 advantage over Republicans among Asian American voters in Senate races, the advantage is higher still in the House races
  • Jobs and economic inequality rank higher among concerns for Asian American voters ages 18 to 34
  • Asian American voters tend to favor left-leaning views on issues such as environment, racial profiling, education, social security and immigration reform.
Commentary, News

ICYMI, David Gergen’s full address at Elon (video)

CNN political analyst David Gergen spoke this weekend at Elon University’s commencement ceremony. In case you missed it, here’s the video of his speech (excerpt and link to transcript below):

I would like to depart from the tradition of showering you with personal advice. Instead, at the risk of offending some of you, I want to talk about the deepening concerns that I and many others have about the future of North Carolina, our beloved state.

Repeatedly in recent years, and especially in recent months, forces of political extremism have asserted themselves here, representing a sharp break from our past. After decades of struggle to become a just and fair people, we are sliding backwards. We are not only damaging our reputation but putting our fellow citizens at risk.

Enough is enough. For those of us who have stayed on the sidelines, it is time to stand up and be counted. It is time to raise our voices against this darkness. Indeed, it is time for fellow citizens of all stripes – white and black; young and old; native and newcomer; men, women and people of chosen gender — everyone — to join forces and preserve the best of who we are as a people.

[Read entire speech transcript here]


Apodaca wants Charlotte to cover costs of special session that rammed through anti-LGBTQ legislation

The special session Wednesday that passed legislation banning localities from protecting LGBTQ communities came at a cost of $42,000. Not satisfied that they’ve overturned the Charlotte ordinance — which would’ve allowed transgender people to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity — now State Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) wants the city of Charlotte to foot the bill as well.

Blue Ridge Now reports:

State Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Henderson) has asked his staff to look and see how the General Assembly can charge Charlotte to cover the costs of Wednesday’s special session, including the possibility of withholding the city’s sales tax revenues.

Lawmakers met Wednesday and passed a law invalidating a measure the Charlotte City Council passed last month to allow transgender people to use restrooms corresponding with their gender identity.

“Charlotte brought this all upon themselves,” knowing exactly what they were getting into, Apodaca said.

Read more here


Businesses and community leaders speak up for equality and against discrimination #wearenotthis

Business and community leaders offer a powerful response to North Carolina’s new anti-LGBT law.

Here is a sampling: (Check back as we update!)







Asian Americans fastest-growing demographic in North Carolina, report finds


The Institute for Southern Studies, Southeast Asian Coalition (SEAC), Asian Americans Advancing Justice and the N.C. Justice Center jointly released a report today, noting the Asian American population in North Carolina as the fastest-growing racial group in the state.

SEAC is also working with another local civic engagement group, N.C.’s Asian Americans Together, to run a nonpartisan get-out-the-vote event Saturday in Charlotte and Raleigh to encourage Asian Americans to vote in the state primary election next Tuesday. A sign-up form for interested volunteers for the Saturday phone bank can be found here.

Some highlights from the report include:

  • Diversity: Over 20 ethnicities, countries of origin and languages are represented in the state’s Asian-American community.
  • Relatively high citizenship rates: Although nearly 60 percent of Asian-American residents were born abroad, the citizenship rate is about 70 percent. Rates vary by ethnicity and country of origin.
  • Low voter registration rates: About 100,000 Asian Americans are registered to vote, reflecting only 58 percent of eligible Asian-American voters. By comparison, 70 percent of all eligible voters in the state are registered.

more here