Chi­nese-Amer­i­can vot­ers sense ranks on rise

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By WANG LINYAN in New York and JUNE CHANG in San Fran­cisco

While many peo­ple woke up on Wed­nes­day to the stun­ning fact that Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump was elected the 45th pres­i­dent of the US, Daniel Lou, co-founder of the Chi­nese Amer­i­can Al­liance for Trump in New York, wasn’t sur­prised.

“I knew he would win a month ago,” said Lou, a Trump sup­porter who has helped or­ga­nize sev­eral Trump ral­lies in New York. Lou said be­fore Elec­tion Day that he knew many peo­ple back­ing Trump.

Don Sun, pres­i­dent of the Sil­i­con Val­ley chap­ter of the Asian Pa­cific Is­lan­der Amer­i­can Pub­lic Af­fairs, said: “Nei­ther Clin­ton nor Trump lives up to my ex­pec­ta­tion of a pres­i­dent.” Sun said he wrote “Bernie Sanders” on his bal­lot.

But what com­forted him, said Sun, is that he saw a ris­ing voter turnout among Asian Amer­i­cans, es­pe­cially Chi­nese Amer­i­cans in Cu­per­tino, Cal­i­for­nia, where the pop­u­la­tion of Asian an­ces­try takes up 63 per­cent of the city’s to­tal.

“Many of them were first-time vot­ers. They said this year’s elec­tion was too im­por­tant to miss,” said Sun, also an elec­tion of­fi­cer in Cu­per­tino.

Some Chi­nese-Amer­i­can vot­ers also tried to in­flu­ence as many vot­ers as pos­si­ble.

Liu Min, a for­mer en­gi­neer at an IT com­pany in Sil­i­con Val­ley, voted for Clin­ton. She gath­ered her Ts­inghua alumni in San Fran­cisco and be­yond and peo­ple of sim­i­lar val­ues across the US by bind­ing them into WeChat groups and shared phone bank tips and lob­by­ing tac­tics.

“Try those small restau­rants and gro­cery stores; those own­ers are in­clined to vote for Clin­ton and you just leave them the vot­ing guide packet,” said Liu in one of her mes­sages. “That usu­ally will work.”

For Tian Wang, founder of Chi­nese Amer­i­cans for Trump, who has or­ga­nized fundrais­ers and many ral­lies, the next step is a larger plan now that Trump is elected.

“We will con­tinue to gather more peo­ple in all states with the cur­rent 8,000 reg­is­tered (mem­bers) at CAFT,” Wang said. “We will form a na­tional voter bloc in which we will have state chap­ters in charge of state-level voter reg­is­tra­tion and voter bloc form­ing.”

Cliff Li, ad­viser to the Asian Pa­cific Amer­i­can Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee for the Trump cam­paign and ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Com­mit­tee of Asian Amer­i­can Repub­li­cans, said Trump suc­cess­fully de­fined Clin­ton as part of the es­tab­lish­ment even though she re­peat­edly said she would tax the rich­est 1 per­cent.

Al­most 70 per­cent of work­ing­class whites with less than a col­lege de­gree sup­ported Trump be­cause he be­came their voice, Li said. He said they used to sup­port Demo­cratic Party.

“Blue-col­lar work­ers in Rust Belt states feel their job op­por­tu­ni­ties have been slighted. They feel they are not pro­tected,” Li ex­plained.

Li said data show that 65 per­cent of Asian Amer­i­cans voted for Clin­ton, com­pared with 73 per­cent four years ago. Con­versely, 29 per­cent voted for Trump com­pared with 25 per­cent four years ago.

“I guess among the 65 per­cent of Asian Amer­i­can vot­ers for Clin­ton, Chi­nese-Amer­i­can vot­ers make 55-60 per­cent,” Li said. “My per­sonal ob­ser­va­tion is that Chi­nese-Amer­i­can vot­ers are turn­ing a bit to the right com­pared with four years ago.”

Li said Pres­i­dent-elect Trump has a lot on his plate, but he needs to first “de­liver his first 100-day con­tract”. Lia Zhu in San Fran­cisco con­trib­uted to this story.

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