Coalition of Progressive Organizations Release New Research on AAPI Voters

October 17, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Today, AAPI Power Fund, AAPI Victory Alliance, AAPI Victory Fund, Asian American Power Network, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Priorities USA, EMILY’s List, National Education Association and SEIU released a memo centering the key issues that matter to Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

The AAPI community has continually played a critical role in our elections and these constituencies have often been overlooked in political research. While the majority of AAPI voters support Democrats, the polling underscores a need for more intentional, accessible and long-term investment from Democrats to prevent this support from eroding.

Notably, AAPI voters are concerned about inflation and the economy and resonate most with  initiatives related to health care and policies such as paid sick and family leave, universal child and elder care, capping the cost of insulin at $35 per month and guaranteed Social Security. AAPI voters are also supportive of abortion rights and oppose GOP efforts to ban books in schools.

Read the full memo HERE.

“I’m incredibly proud of this large scale effort to center AAPI voters at the heart of the political conversation,” said Priorities USA Deputy Executive Director Nick Ahamed. “AAPI communities are often forgotten in these critical conversations. However, I am hopeful that these collective investments will signal to others that we need to do more to ensure our voices are being heard while demystifying the assumptions that are often associated with this critical group of voters.”

“Educators, parents, and voters know how important it is to elect pro-public education candidates up and down the ballot this fall to strengthen our public schools and expand opportunities for all students. AAPI voters agree that our public schools are on the ballot in this election, with over 70% rejecting politicians trying to ban books and drag culture wars into America’s public schools. Instead, AAPI voters agree that all students should receive an honest and accurate education,” said National Education Association President Becky Pringle. “We are proud to invest in engaging this critical community and ensure that their voices are heard in this election.”

“Women of color drive Democratic wins, and AAPI women are critical this November. I’m so pleased to have this partnership in research into a better understanding of AAPI women,” said EMILY’s List WOMEN VOTE! Executive Director Melissa Williams. “What’s clear is AAPI women know abortion is on the ballot this November and Democrats can’t take these women for granted.”

“Nearly 70% of AAPI voters prefer a candidate that supports reproductive freedom, and it is essential that the voice of this large and diverse community is heard on Election Day.” said NARAL Research Director Dina Montemarano, “That’s why we’re so excited to be a part of this strong coalition of progressive groups working to lift up the issues, concerns and voices of the AAPI community.”

“AAPI voters have often been invisibilized in the political space. We are an incredibly diverse and dynamic population and our surging AAPI electorate is at the forefront of shaping a progressive future,” said AAPI Victory Fund President and CEO Brad Jenkins. “It is critical that we start listening and reaching out to AAPI communities across the country. Our votes and voices matter are critical in this year’s election.”

“Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial group in the US electorate, had the highest increase in voter turnout in 2020 and are even more motivated to vote in the midterm elections.  We have reached critical mass to become a voting bloc in key states and congressional districts. We are in a critical moment of political awakening for so many AAPI voters.  If campaigns want to win in November and beyond, they must engage the AAPI electorate today, tomorrow and into the future and this poll lays out strategies to do so in a way that truly meets the community where they are on key issues.” said Carrie Pugh, Senior Advisor of Programs and Strategy to the National AAPI Power Fund.

“AAPI voters are moving from the marginalized to the margin of victory, and with this research, we are laying the groundwork to further understand this ever growing and complex voting bloc,” said Asian American Power Network Executive Director Nadia Nisha Belkin. “Simply put, AAPI voters are not a monolith and for too long our community has been ignored and underfunded. Now, we are building a sustained infrastructure with these critical voters who will continue to play a key role in our elections because we know their perspectives, lived experiences, and concerns need to be part of the conversation. Attention to the community cannot be limited to election cycles, we must use this data to continue to build long-term organizing strategies that build trust and empowerment within the community itself.”

“This battleground AAPI poll indicates a hardening of several issues that generally favors the left. However, of still concern is that engagement of those groups vying for our vote is occurring way too late in the cycle, and sometimes not at all. With perpetually tight elections, our side can’t afford to leave these net votes for Democrats off the table,” said Varun Nikore, Executive Director of the AAPI Victory Alliance.