The GOP, Asian Americans and Affirmative Action

Young Kim, Mimi Walters, Corey Stewart—these were all Republican candidates who ran in the 2018 midterm elections, and who made use of the affirmative action debate as part of their campaign in order to court the Asian American vote. All these three candidates also ultimately lost. Nonetheless, data shows that Asian Americans have tilted slightly rightward in the recent elections. In particular, Chinese Americans have been the strongest opponents of affirmative action and, by extension, the strongest supporters of anti-affirmative action candidates like Kim, Walters and Stewart. While Asian Americans as a whole still generally lean Democrat, the affirmative action debate has divided the community, and it remains to be seen how the issue will continue to impact the possibility of community-wide solidarity.

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