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Candidates need to engage with Asian Americans beyond crime and education, new research shows

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As the midterm elections approach, new surveys show a more complex situation for Asian American and Pacific Islander voters than the parties have drawn in the past.

The Asian-American Voter Survey, released Monday, examined the attitudes of Asian-Americans and Pacific Islander-Americans on key issues leading up to the November elections. While hate crimes and education remain important to Asian Americans, the group’s priorities also proved to be health insurance, economic and environmental issues.

Janelwon, co-director of AAPI Data, the research organization that conducted the survey, said that so far, political parties have not fully appealed to voters on all these issues. And there are still many opportunities to revitalize Asian-American voters.

“Most Asian-American politics covers two topics: hate crimes and affirmative action,” Wong said. “Many people, including candidates, consider Asian Americans to be very one-dimensional or two-dimensional, but think about these complications and how to actually appeal to the broader Asian-American agenda. Is not.”

In a study published as a collaboration between APIAVote, AAPI Data, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, researchers at Asian Americans Advancing Justice found more than 1,610 registered Asian-American voters in the six largest ethnic groups of Asian Americans. Was investigated in four languages. .. As in the last few years, respondents are leaning to the left, with 54% reporting that they will vote for the Democratic Party in both the Senate and House elections.

Asian Americans also showed consistency on key issues. According to a survey, 88% of Asian-American respondents ranked health as “very important” or “very important” when deciding to vote in November. Employment and the economy were second with 86% of voters, and crime was third with 85%. Gun control and the environment were also important topics.

“That tells me that there are some lasting trends in this community,” Wong said. “People are as interested in health care and the economy as crime.”

However, working and understanding of the group remains severely restricted, Wong said. Surveys show that about two-thirds of registered voters will vote, but the majority have not been contacted by either party. 52% of Asian Americans had no contact from the Democratic Party and 60% had no contact from the Republican Party.

“The Asian-American community continues to be ignored by many politicians and suffers from their disadvantages, despite our progress and growing political power,” said APIA Vote Executive Director. Director Christine Chen wrote about the investigation in a statement.

Nainoa Johsens, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee and director of APA Media for AAPI communications, told NBC News that he has been involved with AAPI voters in a variety of ways.

“RNC, under the leadership of President Ronna McDaniel, allows the Democratic Party to engage with the Asian-American community through the Asian Pacific American Community Center and engage with AAPI voters at events such as dance classes, karate lessons, and game nights. I’ve been working for a few months now, “Potluck.”

Eric Salcedo, director of AAPI outreach for the Democratic National Committee, said the party had “significantly” invested in outreach.

“Asian Americans are the fastest growing coalition, and communication with these voters is central to the Democratic Party’s efforts to protect and expand its majority. DNC is to Asian Americans and natives. We are investing heavily in multi-platform outreach. The Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities will reach these voters ahead of the midterm elections. ”

Pawan Dingla, chairman of the Asian American Studies Association, a professor of sociology and American studies at Amherst College, said the parties have leveled the concerns of Asian American voters.

“It’s as if they were talking to Latins and only about immigrants, but in reality other issues are even more important,” he said.

The economy and problems faced by small business owners, reproductive rights and inflation are all problems for Asian Americans and Pacific Islands, and they need to be seen as such, Dingla said. .. And to further revitalize voters, politicians need to demonstrate that they understand how the population is actually experiencing these problems. ..

“Anti-Asian hate crimes are part of the puzzle, but not all,” he said.

Hate crimes continue to be a concern for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Wong said. Those who worry about hate crimes “very often” plan to support the Democratic Party in a 3: 1 ratio over Republican candidates.

But opinions on this issue are complicated, Wong said. According to the findings, she said the respondents were further divided into criminal treatment assessments of both parties, indicating that they did not consider this topic to be partisan. Wong also said that their views are not always in line with the active push for cancer solutions that some activists have perpetuated.

“Political power is actually who is organized, which voices are in line with the broader story, and those outside the Asian-American community who have the political power to compose these issues. How is it? “Won said. “Because this survey captures the rights and activists of registered voters every day, there is a gap between public opinion and the beliefs of everyday Asian Americans.”

According to the survey, 50% of respondents agreed to move their spending from law enforcement to “programs to address minority economic and social issues.” About half, 24%, disagreed with such changes. Wong also expressed broader concern about Asian-American voters about racism against the color community, with 73% supporting the inclusion of Asian-American and non-white history in public school curriculum. Said.

“Despite the headlines we still see, there has always been this desire to join a broader coalition of people of color when it comes to racial equality,” Wong said.

She added, “Afraid, worried, or worried about crime means that people want to take an offensive position with respect to law enforcement and guns, your typical reactionary. I haven’t seen any reaction, “he added.

In another survey released last week by an organization called Stop AAPI Hate, 53% of Asian Americans and 58% of Pacific Islands say that education is the most effective response to hate crimes. Community-based solutions and civil rights law and enforcement were also highly endorsed. Meanwhile, a small number of respondents, 30% of Asian Americans and 21% of Pacific Islanders, saw more law enforcement as an effective solution.

Asian-American views on education continue to be misunderstood, Wong said. Asian Americans are often cast as opponents of race-aware admission, and candidates often try to appeal to the group from that perspective, but the survey found that the majority of respondents were affirmative. I found that I support the action program. Over-concentration on affirmative action and hate crimes can also result from the long-standing persistence of both model minority and permanent alien stereotypes, Wong added.

But over many issues, Asian Americans have shown coherence to show stronger support for more governments and more cohesive political identities. For example, the majority of voters support stricter gun laws, undocumented immigrants’ paths to citizenship, and legislation to reduce climate change.

“There is a foundation,” Wong said. “What remains uncertain is how and to what extent activists can actually capture the attention of Asian Americans on these issues.”