Parthasarathy says Kamala Harris VP choice resonates with Asian-American community

August 13, 2020

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s choice of California Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate has excited both the Black and Asian American communities. Ford School professor Shobita Parthasarathy spoke with WXYZ-TV in Detroit about the Asian American reaction to the announcement.

Political experts say Asian Americans don’t particularly vote for a certain party. According to the Pew Research Center, there are more than 11 million Asian Americans that will be able to vote this year. That is 5 percent of the nation’s eligible voters.

“She and her mother have an immigrant story that so many Asians resonate with,” Parthasarathy explained. She has found Asian Americans vote both Republican and Democrat, but this year the vote could be swayed.

“The importance of these populations, but also the priorities and needs of these populations, are more in the mainstream discussion of American politics and policy.”

Battleground states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania have a large number of Asian American voters. Parthasarathy says the usually red state of Texas does too.

“[Texas has a] very large India population in particular and an Asian population more generally.”

Experts also say Trump’s policy restrictions towards H1B visa and student visas could have Asian Americans voting blue.

“[That is] not friendly to the South Asian population and to Indians in particular and that came to a head in the last few months,” Parthasarathy explained. “That created an opening that Kamala Harris can drive a truck through.”

You can watch the report here.