NBC News: Nevada is 1 of 5 states with over 10% Asian Americans. Both parties courted vote, but Dems won out.
Some warn that, with changing demographics and drastic generational differences, the parties will have to adapt to earn Asian American’s long-term loyalty.
By Kimmy Yam/NBC News
In the highly competitive swing state of Nevada, both parties aggressively courted Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders ahead of last week’s midterm elections, but Democrats managed to clinch the group’s vote.
The state is one of five in which Asian Americans make up 10% of the overall electorate. And they’re becoming an increasingly influential voting bloc, preferring Democratic candidates at more than 60%, according to one exit poll.
But still, in some parts of the state, the margin was much tighter. And some warn that, with changing demographics and drastic generational differences, the parties will have to adapt to earn the electorate’s long-term loyalty.
Nevada is home to the third largest AAPI electorate in the country, growing by 167% in the last two decades. The lion’s share of voters are Filipino Americans, who in national polls have historically leaned left but are relatively conservative when compared to other Asian American ethnicities.
In House, Senate and gubernatorial races, the electorate favored Democratic candidates, preliminary exit poll results from the Asian American Legal and Defense Fund (AALDEF) show. Polling, however, is done in primarily urban areas and may capture fewer conservative, suburban and rural voters, Jerry Vattamala, the director of the democracy program at AALDEF, said.
Vattamala said that Democrats were likely able to break through, in part because of the local community’s policy priorities. According to his group’s exit poll, health care emerged as the top issue for voters and is one that tends to pull people left, he said.
When looking at Filipino voters specifically, a national survey this year showed that the group prioritizes the issue more so than all other Asian groups, with 89% reporting that health care was of “extremely high” or “very high” importance to them. Moreover, Asian Americans make up a significant portion of Nevada’s medical community, at 19%. And issues like the Affordable Care Act continue to be in discussion, Vattamala said.