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Young AAPIs are Ready to Vote, Will Politicians Act?

The political clout of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has grown dramatically in the past five years, and their enthusiasm continues to grow according to two recently published polls by the Harvard Institute of Politics, and Next100 and GenForward. These polls reveal that AAPIs, particularly young voters, are highly motivated and planning to vote in this year’s midterm elections.

According to the newly-released Harvard Youth Poll 2022, the percentage of AAPI youth who say they are “definitely” voting in the 2022 elections for Congress increased from 23% to 36% from 2018 to 2022. Additionally, 74% of AAPI youth reported being registered to vote!

However, while young AAPIs’ enthusiasm for voting is high, their outlook on government is less positive. The new Next100 and GenForward Survey revealed only 22% of Asian respondents believe that the federal government cares about “people like me” and 26% of Asian respondents disagree with the statement “I feel like a full and equal citizen in this country with all the rights and protections that other people have.”

The media, candidates, and parties around the country need to take note of what is happening within Asian American communities if they want to have a winning strategy in their own races. Asian Americans are one of the fastest growing racial groups in the United States, and are an increasingly influential voter bloc. These voters are ready to engage in the civic process at higher rates than any other racial group this year. However, they want a government that recognizes their communities’ issues, treats them as equal citizens, and looks more like the American population as a whole. There is a major opportunity for political candidates and parties to work with this highly-motivated demographic if they can run and act upon these promises.