US election: Asian-American group targets swing states

Asian Americans have tended to vote Democratic, meaning the efforts are more likely to benefit Mrs Hillary Clinton.
Asian Americans have tended to vote Democratic, meaning the efforts are more likely to benefit Mrs Hillary Clinton. PHOTO: EPA

NEW YORK • A new group plans to spend millions of dollars to register and turn out Asian-American voters in some swing states, in a bid to give the relatively small but fast-growing group outsized influence in the Nov 8 presidential election.

If successful, the effort could give voice to a portion of the electorate that has traditionally leaned towards the Democratic Party but has voted in lower numbers than other minority groups, and has been largely ignored by candidates in past presidential elections.

The Asian American and Pacific Islanders Victory Fund plans to spend US$2 million (S$2.7 million) to register at least 50,000 voters in places like Nevada, Virginia and North Carolina before election day - states where it says the number of eligible Asian-American voters exceeds the margin of victory in the 2012 presidential poll.

 

"If this community were to turn out more, it can actually swing the election," said Mr Dilawar Syed, co-founder and vice-chairman of the Super PAC, a political action committee. The group, launched in January, is non-partisan.

But Asian Americans have tended to vote Democratic, meaning the efforts are more likely to benefit Mrs Hillary Clinton, who is close to clinching her party's nomination.

The group has so far seen more than 3,500 new voters registered among people who received its first round of 73,371 mailers, sent out in late March. It plans another round of mailers next month and perhaps another in September. Other target states include Colorado, Ohio and Florida.

REUTERS

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 01, 2016, with the headline 'Asian-American group targets swing states'. Print Edition | Subscribe