Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, a time to recognize and celebrate the contributions of these diverse communities. At DSPolitical, we are proud of our role in helping to power diverse candidates. Check out a few of our wins for AAPI candidates during the previous midterm elections here.

Rapid Growth and Elections

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, the AAPI population surged by 81% between 2000 and 2019. As of the 2023 U.S. Census, there were approximately 24 million people of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in the United States. The last midterm elections witnessed AAPI voters participate at unprecedented turnout rates. As a result, it is crucial for candidates to understand and address the concerns and priorities of these voters to effectively engage with this dynamic and diverse community. 

Takeaway: The AAPI vote is as diverse as it is large. It’s no surprise that this population is incredibly heterogeneous. The term “AAPI” encompasses a vast array of cultures from across the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands, including East, Southeast, and South Asia, as well as Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. More than 100 languages and nearly 50 ethnic groups are represented. 

Such diversity comes with a spectrum of political views, priorities, and concerns. Overall, about six in ten Asian American registered voters (62%) identify as Democrats or lean to the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, Vietnamese American voters specifically tilt to the GOP, with 51% identifying as Republicans and only 42% as Democrats). (Source).

The way we target AAPI voters must reflect the complexity and diversity within the community. The AAPI electorate is a growing community with the power to shape and influence down-ballot elections throughout the country. Candidates and causes must acknowledge the impact this community has throughout their campaigns, not just during heritage months.

Reaching AAPI Voters

The AAPI community is increasingly influential in American politics, and DSPolitical is at the forefront of helping campaigns effectively reach these voters. While not all AAPI voters speak multiple languages or have a language other than English as their first language, those who do are often overlooked by traditional campaign strategies. 

DSPolitical’s models leverage its partnership with Catalist to give campaigns the tools to run more effective digital advertising by focusing ad budgets on the voters they need to reach. Efforts to engage AAPI voters have shown promising results. Take the work we did in our midterm voter turnout campaign for Los Angeles County into consideration. DSPolitical partnered with Fenton to run a robust media campaign targeting hard-to-reach groups, specifically voters who speak English as a second language. Note: Most Asian American voters are naturalized citizens, and the vast majority (86%) of Asian immigrants say they speak a language other than English at home (Source). During the campaign, we delivered paid messaging in 16 languages, focusing over two-thirds of the media spend on placements with non-English or dynamic language targeting. The campaign, which included tailored creative and curated inventory, aimed to reach voters in the languages they prefer to be spoken to in. The results were notable, with increases in self-reported likelihood to vote among Asian residents by 5.5 percentage points. When we match our ad with a voter’s preferred language, they are more likely to engage with that content – whether that’s completing a video or taking an action. The scale may be limited, but you’ll benefit from meeting voters where they are. Read more about this success story. 

Interested in learning how DSPolitical can help you reach the voters you need? Contact us to learn how we can support your campaign needs.