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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - President Trump is gaining unexpected support from Asian American communities.
On Monday, researcher William Huang published a comparison of Trump's standing among Asian American voters between the 2016 and 2020 election periods.
Titled "Trump and His Surging Asian American Vote," the analysis reveals a pro-Trump surge among many sectors of the growing Asian American demographic.
In the 2016 election, Huang notes, exit polls released by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) showed that Hillary Clinton crushed Trump, winning the Asian American vote 79%–18%.
But in September 2020, according to the Asian American Voter Survey/AAPI Data poll, Biden leads Trump 55%–30%.
These statistics lead Huang to conclude that Asian Americans — the nation's fastest-growing voting group — "can play a significant role in many battleground states."
The threads that run through Trump's appeal among these communities, he suggests, include the president's tough stance on communism and on China.
Epitomizing this are Vietnamese Americans, who are backing the president over Biden, 48%–36%, making them the most pro-Trump Asian American demographic.
Vietnamese Americans applaud Trump's strong approach to China, for centuries Vietnam's oppressor and chief rival.
Additionally, they are firmly anti-communist, many having fled South Vietnam as troops from the North overran the capital, Saigon, in 1975.
There is also lingering bitterness over the role Democrats played in helping set the stage for the South's collapse.
"Overwhelmingly conservative and Catholic," Huang observes, the Vietnamese "were grateful to the GOP for supporting them and deeply resented the Democrats who controlled Congress ... and decisively cut off aid to the South Vietnamese, directly leading to the Fall of Saigon."
"They also know the liberals like 'Hanoi Jane' and hippies who chanted 'Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh' in the counter-cultural 1960s supported Hanoi and voted blue, so they decisively voted red," he adds.
Huang points out that Vietnamese Americans continue to vote red owing to "their hatred for the tyrannical regime back home."
The voting loyalty of the Vietnamese may not only work for Trump but also for a few House seats in 2020; he observes: "Vietnamese Americans are currently preferring GOP candidates in Congress 45%–32%, and quite a few seats in California which Republicans want to win back are decided by these Asian Cubans."
Indian Americans have not historically trended Republican, Huang points out, but neither have they been courted by Republicans — until now.
Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi share similar political proclivities, Huang notes. Since coming to power in 2014, Modi has transformed India from "a secularist-dominated, left-leaning political landscape to implement a Hindutva-inspired, right-wing populist party."
"Trump saw an opening — and took full advantage of it," he writes.
During Trump's time in office, he and Modi have connected in what Huang terms a "bromance." This, he notes, has won the president "quite a few Indian American fans in the States."
As with Vietnamese Americans, Trump's stance toward Beijing has won him further support among the Indian American community.
"They love his belligerent response towards China," Huang observes, "especially after Indian and Chinese soldiers fought in a de facto battle in the Himalayas just a few months ago, which resulted in a massive Indian boycott of Chinese goods and soaring anti-China sentiment in India."
According to AAPI's estimate, Biden has the support of roughly 65% of Indian American voters.
If accurate, this would represent a massive gain for the president — in 2016, Indian Americans went for Clinton by 91%.
Chinese Americans represent another cache of votes for Trump.
According to Huang, Chinese Americans see Trump as the first president in decades "whom they [see] as someone tough on Beijing and able to hit [president] Xi Jinping where it hurts."
They would probably prefer if Trump referred to the coronavirus as the "CCP virus" rather than the "kung flu," he concedes. But they cheer when the president "hits out at Huawei and sanctions CCP officials over Hong Kong." And, Huang maintains:
These ethnic Chinese voters will take Trump's mean tweets any day over living a day under communism. They know what it was like back home living under socialism and what is at stake in this election. They too fear this election might hand over unchecked power to the leftists in the U.S. And they believe that Trump is the one president that has the correct tough approach to Beijing. If that means they will have to communicate with their relatives in China with an app other than WeChat, so be it.
"China is perhaps the best 'get out the vote' machine for Trump," Huang argues. "Every time Trump attacks China, he actually gets more Asian American votes, not less."
And he calculates that "15% of Asian voters remain undecided. If half of them go Trump's way on Election Day, he might win 40% of the 2020 Asian American vote, double the votes he got in 2016."
"Immigrants who fled socialism in their home countries may well become part of the bastion protecting America from falling to the Left itself," he says.