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Democrats need to overhaul their playbook for courting Asian American voters

Districts with large Chinese American populations will be among the most competitive City Council races in November.


"Several Asian American elected officials and civic leaders were hesitant to speculate about why the rate of unaffiliated registration was even higher among Chinese Americans than in other AAPI communities in New York. Yiatin Chu, president of the political group Asian Wave Alliance, noted that in addition to lacking information about the parties and process here, there may also be hesitancy to enroll in a party based on where immigrants are coming from. Chu’s organization endorses both Democrats and Republicans for office, but has made a few high-profile endorsements of Republicans recently, including Lee Zeldin for governor and David Hirsch in a competitive Assembly special election last month.

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There are still issues where Asian Americans tend to align more broadly with Democrats, including on prioritizing support for social services, which have traditionally been the “bread and butter for Democrats,” Chu said.

Still, Republicans’ alignment on priority issues in Asian American communities was a key part of the shift right among Chinese and other Asian American voters in the past two years. In addition to aligning on key issues, Republicans also claimed credit for doing the kind of outreach and engagement work in Asian communities that has long been overlooked by both parties."


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