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Asian American super PAC endorses Joe Biden

The group is up for grabs, with nearly two in five Asian-American registered voters not identifying as either a Democrat or Republican.
Image: Joe Biden
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Dubuque in Iowa on Jan. 3, 2020.Andrew Harnik / AP file

Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden picked up an endorsement on Friday from a super PAC focused on mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islander voters.

“We believe that Joe Biden is the best candidate to defeat Trump and lead our country,” Shekar Narasimhan, chairman of the AAPI Victory Fund, said in a statement. “Out of all the presidential candidates, he has the most experience and cares deeply about AAPI issues.”

The group says it will spend $2 million on Asian American and Pacific Islander outreach this election season.

A super PAC, like the AAPI Victory Fund, can accept unlimited contributions from corporations, labor unions and individuals, but are independent and prohibited from coordinating most communications with a candidate committee.

The fund’s endorsement of the former vice president comes less than two months before California’s early primary on March 3. Asian Americans could play an important role in that contest, as they account for roughly one of every six registered voters in the state, according to AAPI Data.

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.

“Time and time again, Joe Biden has proven himself to be the only candidate who can build the broad diverse coalition necessary to defeat Donald Trump,” he told NBC News in an emailed statement. “With the AAPI Victory Fund’s support, we are one step closer to doing just that.”

For this year’s election, the super PAC expects the Asian American and Pacific Islander electorate to play a decisive role in battleground states including Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia and Arizona.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have tried to win over Asian American and Pacific Islander voters, who accounted for just over 4 percent of the electorate in the last presidential election.

It’s a voting bloc that’s part of the fastest growing racial group and is expected to double by 2040. It’s also one that’s potentially up for grabs, with nearly two in five Asian-American registered voters not identifying as either a Democrat or Republican, according to the 2018 Asian American Voter Survey, conducted by a number of nonprofits.

Narasimhan said the AAPI Victory Fund made its endorsement of Biden “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 10 months, and AAPIs are more engaged than ever,” he added. “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.”