- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock is releasing a trio of ads aimed at getting Asian Americans to the polls ahead of the Dec. 6 runoff election in Georgia.

The digital ads, titled “Proud,” feature Warnock voters speaking in Vietnamese, Mandarin and Korean and attacking Republican challenger Herschel Walker.

“I’m proud to call Georgia home, but I’d be embarrassed to call Herschel Walker my senator,” the narrators say. “So I’m doing my part and voting for Reverend Warnock in the runoff on Dec. 6. I hope you’ll join me.”

The ads have a short run time of around 20 seconds and underscore efforts to secure the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) vote ahead of the critical Senate showdown.

The demographic grew in Georgia, a key battleground state, by about 61,000 votes from 2016 to 2020, according to AAPI Data, which tracks the voting bloc.

It was a whopping 84% jump from 73,000 AAPI votes in the cycle won by President Donald Trump to 134,000 in President Biden’s victory.

SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama records robocalls on behalf of Raphael Warnock in Georgia runoff

Texas saw a 71% spike in AAPI activity during the same period, or just over 100,000 votes, followed by Nevada and California with increases of 65% and 64%.

“As two of the fastest growing racial groups in the country, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are increasingly influential in several districts and states across the country. Battleground states and swing districts are where we often see AAPIs having the largest impact — such as Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Nevada,” said Kyle Van Fleet, a spokesman for Asian and Pacific Islander Vote, a voter-engagement organization.

An NBC News exit poll found that 58% of AAPI voters opted for Democrats in this year’s midterms, while 40% voted for Republicans.

Mr. Van Fleet said their surveys find a similar split, though voters in the demographic are persuadable and there has been a 4% uptick in Asian Americans identifying as Republican.

The group is not a monolith, with 70% of Indian Americans identifying as Democrat while only 34% of Vietnamese Americans do the same, and they are animated by a range of issues but tend to find common ground in concern over public safety and anti-Asian hate, he said.

“We expect Asian Americans to play a critical role in the upcoming election on Tuesday, given their outsized influence in Georgia in 2020 and 2021,” he said.

The Republican National Committee on Tuesday announced the formation of an advisory council to improve its standing among minority populations, including Asian Americans, after a midterm cycle that failed to produce a red wave. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel named Rep. Michelle Steel, California Republican and a Korean American, to the panel.

“Democrats see minority voters as a monolith that they can take for granted, but I am living proof that voters realize the left has failed to actually deliver for our communities,” Ms. Steel said.

In Georgia, Mr. Warnock is trying to win reelection and expand the Democrats’ Senate majority to 51 seats instead of 50.

The Warnock campaign of late is highlighting reports Mr. Walker took advantage of a tax break for Texas residents even as he runs as a candidate in Georgia.

The Walker campaign, meanwhile, has accused Mr. Warnock of mismanaging a Georgia apartment complex and says the senator’s spats with his ex-wife contrast with his nice-guy image.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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