An Asian American GOP group that endorsed Donald Trump four years ago is now encouraging its thousands of members to vote for Joe Biden.
“It is OK that you voted for Trump in 2016, most conservatives did,” the National Committee of Asian American Republicans said in a press release. “We wanted an outsider to rattle the system. But he is destroying the whole building."
The group endorsed Jeb Bush in the 2016 Republican primaries, supported Trump in the general election and has vocally supported GOP figures like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former House Speaker Paul Ryan and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. This year, however, the organization has pivoted, asking members to “Follow your conscience” and vote for Biden.
The group cites Trump’s divisive rhetoric as the main reason for the endorsement.
“We need a president with empathy, integrity and broadness capable of bringing all sides to the table to find common ground, and work together overcoming serious challenges ahead,” it said.
The group also cites Trump’s failed 2016 campaign items, though it did give Trump some credit for lowering taxes.
The statement calls for a “reboot” of the American political system. "Making America great again starts from all sides coming together, to heal a divided nation," it said.
Asian Americans make up 4 percent of the U.S.’s eligible voters and are a fast-growing demographic. A recent survey by the National Education Association found that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders can turn the tide in the country's 10 most contested swing states.
In the 2020 Asian American Voter Survey, 54 percent of eligible Asian American voters said they planned on voting for Biden, 30 percent said they planned on voting for Trump, and 15 percent said they didn’t know.
Though a study by the New American Economy last week reports that 305,000 eligible Asian Americans have still not registered to vote, same-day voter registration options are available to them in many states, including seven of the 10 swing states. The report finds that if Asian Americans and other people of color take advantage of those opportunities, they alone could be the margin of victory in some of the most hotly contested states.