indica News Bureau-
For the November presidential election, Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) has formally announced its endorsement of Democratic front-runner Joe Biden.
One of the first of its kind SuperPac’s focused exclusively on building the political power of the Asian American Pacific Islander community, co-founder of the AAPI Victory Fund, Indian-American Shekar Narasimhan was quoted saying that the organization had met several of the party candidates in the crowded race.
“We asked the community what their priorities were and determined the top two concerns were having a candidate who can beat (President Donald) Trump and one who would listen to our community,” Narasimhan said, adding that Biden was hugely popular among Indian-Americans, who gave the former Vice President the bulk of their donations in the third quarter of 2019, which was about $246,000.
He said that the AAPI had also preferred Andrew Yang, who is Asian American, but due to the escalating tensions in the Middle East following the killing of Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani in a drone attack on January 3, “We started asking ourselves who has the best interest of our country?”, adding “Joe Biden can lead this country in a way in which we gain back our sanity and our stability in the world,” stated Narasimhan.
Launched in 2015, the AAPI Victory Fund aims to mobilize Indian-Americans and other Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to participate in the electoral process.
The AAPI will now organize on-the-ground rallies and digital events, invest in in-language media buys, among other efforts, “to get Biden to the finish line”, Narasimhan told India-West.
In a statement on Friday, the AAPI Victory Fund said, “We make this endorsement with enormous respect for the three AAPI candidates and others who entered the presidential race. There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done in the next ten months, and AAPIs are more engaged than ever.”
“We are committed to continuing our work for 2020 victories and delivering one million new voters for Joe Biden to win the presidency and for Democrats to increase their House majority and to take back the Senate”, the statement read.
On its Facebook page, AAPI Victory Fund said, “We make this endorsement with enormous respect for the three AAPIs who entered into the presidential race … The AAPI candidates broke new ground and excited many elements of our community, but in particular, what Andrew Yang has done is remarkable and deserves special recognition.”
The group, which aims to mobilize the 1.6 million AAPI eligible voters who didn’t vote in 2016, was encouraged by the results of the 2018 elections, where its efforts helped flip seats in heavily Asian American areas, like Orange County and Virginia.
Around 77 percent of AAPI voters nationwide voted Democratic in 2018, according to exit polls. AAPIs are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group.
Biden and fellow Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., were neck and neck for favorability among Asian American and Pacific Islander eligible voters in the Golden State, according to the results of a survey conducted last year in part by AAPI Data.
In the last presidential election, the AAPI Victory Fund endorsed Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, ahead of the California primary held in June 2016.
Greg Schultz, Biden For President campaign manager, welcomed the fund’s 2020 endorsement.