The Republican National Committee (RNC) continues to reach out to and make inroads with diverse groups of voters, and the Asian Pacific American (APA) community is no different. In honor of APA Heritage Month, the RNC released its "Heaven on Earth" series to highlight the APA voices of those who work at the RNC, particularly when it comes to why they are proud to be Republicans.
"During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we honor the history, culture, and sacrifices of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. I am proud of APA Republicans like Representatives Michelle Steel, Young Kim, Amata Radewagen, and many more at all levels of government who represent their communities with pride. We welcome you to get involved at the RNC’s APA Community Centers and look forward to working alongside you to protect your vote, support law enforcement, and put our families first," RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement to Townhall about what the GOP is doing.
The video series includes input from John P. Jose, the RNC Director of APA Engagement; Heather McGuire, RNC Associate Counsel; Nainoa Johsens, the RNC Director of APA Media; and Finley Varughese, the RNC Regional Political Coordinator.
Each of them highlighted the concept of the American dream in their remarks.
Johsens spoke of how his mother grew up in poverty in Hawaii but was encouraged by his grandfather to go away for school. "For me, hearing the story of her growing up in that and then going to school, being encouraged by my grandfather to go to school away from home so she could get the best education possible, and to become the president of her medical school's class – you could say that this is the American dream in and of itself right there," he shared.
Varughese also spoke of his experience as a first-generation Indian-American and how his parents came to this country in the 90s. His father cleaned up cigarette butts from gas station floors, and his mother bussed tables. "They used to work seventeen-hour days, seven-day shifts, but they knew that with hard work and perseverance, the American dream was within reach, and a prosperous future was secured for them and their children," he said.
McGuire also contrasted the life she would have had in China, where she was born, had she not been adopted by an American family, which gave her "everything that my biological could have ever dreamed for me." McGuire noted, "I don’t think I would have found myself in higher education or being able to work in politics if I had stayed there. That's not even a remote possibility. The Republican Party was certainly one that I found my home in."
The RNC hasn't merely put together a video series. It has also launched a five-figure digital and print ad buy, expanding the RNC's multi-million dollar investments in engaging such voters. The ads will play out in battleground states with large APA populations, such as Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, and Washington, and competitive House races in California. The RNC has also opened a fourth APA community center in Las Vegas, with other locations having opened in 2021 in Westminster, California; Berkeley Lake, Georgia; and Coppell, Texas.
Jose spoke of the engagement efforts as "very amazing" and noted that "by creating these community centers, by going into the communities where we might not have been before, we may have, but we are here way earlier. We are seeing this all across the country, and it’s very encouraging that the APA community is finally taking a stand and saying, 'Hey, we've got to turn out because we've got a voice in this, and our voice really matters.'"
Like all Americans, those in the APA community are being impacted by inflation. The RNC has thus taken to register voters at gas stations and Asian grocery stores.
The numbers show that it is perfectly feasible for the GOP to expect to be able to make inroads with APA voters.
In 2020, the party gained 7 percent with APA voters, according to exit poll analysis from The Washington Post.
The GOP has also gained momentum with voters at the local levels, including in the New York City mayoral race, where Republican candidate Curtis Sliwa lost to Mayor Eric Adams but still made gains. "Across the five boroughs, Sliwa scored 44% of the vote in precincts where more than half of residents are Asian," The City reported.
In February, voters in the bright blue locality of San Francisco soundly recalled school board members, including and especially Alison Collins, who made anti-Asian remarks following the 2016 presidential election. The recall effort was fueled by a majority of Asian-American voters as well.
Republicans are hoping to court APA voters on the issues, as well as how the Democratic Party has failed them.
Like all other Americans, APA voters care about issues such as border security, energy production, and Biden's connection to China.
According to polling from the Trafalgar Group, 63.8 percent of Asian Americans are "not confident at all" that Biden can deliver on secure borders, 85.3 percent of the voting bloc believes Biden should make increasing American energy production a priority, and 52.4 percent of Asian Americans think it's "very likely" that Biden is conflicted/compromised when dealing with China due to the Biden family's personal business dealings in China.
Defunding the police and rising crime has also hit APA communities hard due to progressive district attorneys backed by George Soros failing to prosecute criminals, including and especially in New York City with Alvin Bragg and San Francisco with Chesa Boudin, where anti-Asian hate crimes are going up. There is a recall effort against Boudin and a petition to recall Bragg.