BURLINGTON, Vt. – Following Saturday’s landslide wins in Hawaii and Washington, a new poll of California voters shows U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders leading his Democratic opponent 43 percent to 35 percent among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California (USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times). Asian Americans alone make up 12% of the likely electorate in California and 66% of the electorate in Hawaii.
“Bernie’s message is resonating with AAPI communities across the country. We saw an amazing Hawaii win for the Sanders campaign on Saturday,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. “He had very little name recognition in Hawaii compared to Hillary Clinton. She had the endorsement of nearly all of Hawaii’s former Governors, former members of Congress, and the other three members of our congressional delegation. It was so inspiring to see how people came out all across the state to vote, on every island, and made sure their voices were heard. We stood together and sent a message that we want to bring our government back into the hands of the people; and that we must end the costly interventionist wars we’ve been engaging in for the past fifteen years, and focus on investing in our own communities and rebuilding our own nation.”
In recent months, the Sanders campaign has organized AAPIs for Bernie, a nationwide grassroots group of Asian American supporters. The campaign is working closely with prominent Asian American leaders from coast to coast to increase familiarity with Sanders and his platform in Asian American communities across the country.
“Asian Americans are an extremely diverse group with diverse needs, but they share a common dream: to create better opportunities for their children,” said Erica Lee, the campaign’s Asian American outreach coordinator. “Bernie’s platform is providing a credible way to make that happen, and it is attracting support in communities throughout the United States. As his victories this weekend and this new poll suggest, his strong support amongst Asian Americans will serve the campaign well as the nominating process moves through states like New York and California with diverse communities ”
According to Dr. Paul Song, a long-time health care activist and a volunteer leader of the group in California, Sanders is the “only candidate who is running to implement Medicare-for-all, which would offer universal coverage of the health care needs of all people living in America.”
Mayor Bao Nguyen of Garden Grove, California, the city’s first Vietnamese-American and first openly LGBTQ mayor, has also endorsed Bernie Sanders for president and is supporting the volunteer efforts, citing Sanders’ platform for “greater income equality, social justice, and universal access to higher education.” Mayor Nguyen is running for the US House of Representatives.
Kirin Macapugay, a SDSU professor, said, “I have worked to strengthen AAPI and all underserved, underprivileged communities for nearly 20 years as a nonprofit executive, educator, state commissioner, and city commissioner. I chose to support Bernie Sanders for these primary reasons: 1. His rhetoric is consistent with his voting record, and always has been. 2. That voting record shows he understands the issues our communities face and wants to work alongside us for solutions.”