Support for President Joe Biden has plummeted within the last year among Asian Americans, falling from 72 percent to 44 percent in the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the U.S. As the midterms approach, Asian Americans are likely to vote Republican due to the failing economy, family values, education, and crime, Asian-American Republican congressional candidates told National Review.
In Indiana, Jennifer-Ruth Green, whose mother is Filipino and whose father is black, won the Republican primary in the state’s first congressional district in May, garnering 49.2 percent of the Republican vote. She is a veteran of the U.S. military and a first-time candidate who is focusing her campaign on national security and the economy.
She said she is able to relate to voters from many demographics due to her own cultural background and her policies on a strong economy.
“Sharing pictures of my mom, who’s Pilipino, or talking about some of my favorite foods, or just enjoying that publicly and sharing that culture publicly, has allowed people to be more relatable,” Green said.
For Asian Americans, like the majority of Americans, the economy under Biden has hit voters the hardest, Green said, adding that school choice has also been a big issue in her district.
“The biggest thing that I continue to hear is about the economy,” she said. “The struggle is apparent, and in connecting people at the basic level, they trust you to solve the economic difficulty that they’re having.”
Beyond the economy, family values are also a key issue for the Asian-American community, she said.
“Conservative values are important. Family matters so much in Asian societies,” Green said, arguing that “Republicans are now the premier party of working people and the party of the people that want to take care of our society as a whole.”
In Virginia, Hung Cao won the Republican primary for the state’s tenth district. He’s also a first-time candidate, a veteran of the U.S. military, and immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam before the fall of Saigon.
Hung Cao’s Republican identity is partly rooted in his being an immigrant and knowing that the party stands for “opportunity and education.”
Immigrants “just want an equal playing field, whereas the Democrat Party feels like they just want to own you by giving handouts and making you depend on them,” Cao said.
Vietnamese Americans are telling Cao that the economy is their No. 1 priority.
“Everyone, right now, is concerned about the economy. . . . It’s always about taking care of our family and our kids, and no matter how hard we work right now, [prices] keep climbing up,” Cao said.
“The second thing, especially in this district, and this is not just for Asian Americans . . . is education,” Cao said, noting that his district is close to Thomas Jefferson High School of Science and Technology, the No. 1 public school in the country.
In 2022, a federal judge decided that the admissions process the high school had adopted was illegal because it discriminated against Asian Americans by using “racial balancing” to increase the number of black and Latino students.
“When they take the meritocracy of Thomas Jefferson and they destroy it by redistributing to meet certain demographics, and it destroys our opportunity, it’s not fair,” Cao said, adding that “that’s what’s destroying this country.”
Two Republican congressional candidates from California, Eric Ching and Ritesh Tandon, told National Review that Asian Americans in the state are concerned about crime, education, immigration, and the economy.
Ching won the Republican primary in California’s 38th district and will face Democrat Linda Sanchez in November. Tandon won the GOP primary in the state’s 17th district and will battle Democrat Ro Khanna.
“You look at California, and no one is feeling safe anymore,” Ching said, adding that his constituents are also concerned about education and the economy and that Republican policies fit “the people’s desires more.”
“Schools should be focusing more on [STEM] subject matters” instead of teaching sex education to five-year-olds and pushing critical race theory, Ching added.
Discrimination against Asian Americans and illegal immigration are also top issues in California, Tandon said.
“College admissions based on race proportionality is unfair, un-American and plain immoral,” he said, noting that Asian-American students are rejected by colleges in the name of “diversity.”
“How racist is this thinking!” said Tandon, who is Indian American.
Illegal immigration also is unfair to those who migrated to the U.S. legally, Tandon said.
“I am at a complete loss . . . as to why liberals want large illegal immigration. No Democrat has made any sensible explanation. It is plain destructive to America to allow millions of people to enter the U.S. illegally. The paradox is that legal immigrants have to wait 15 years to get their green cards! What lopsided nonsense is being done!” Tandon said.