2016 election candidates court growing Asian-American vote in Virginia

World Today

Part of winning Virginia’s primary election is winning the votes of Asian-Americans. Their influence in the state is growing, especially in the northern part of the state.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.

2016 election candidates court growing Asian-American vote in Virginia

Part of winning Virginia's primary election is winning the votes of Asian-Americans. Their influence in the state is growing, especially in the northern part of the state. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reports.Asians made up just 4.8 percent of the American population in the last U.S. Census. But in Virginia politics, where races are tight, Asian-American voters matter. That's why Neera Tanden, an Indian-American, is here campaigning for Hillary Clinton. CCTV America's Jim Spellman also asked former Olympic Figure Skater Michelle Kwan why she supports Clinton. David Do is organizing events in Virginia for Senator Bernie Sanders. He believes Sanders will help more Americans get a college education and become middle class, because he's not taking campaign money from Wall Street. But a critical problem for candidates courting the Asian-American vote is turnout. Many register to vote, but don't show up at the polls. We tried to find a Republican outreach program to Asian-American voters here in Virginia, but couldn't find any. On Sunday, Republican candidate Marco Rubio did a campaign swing through a county about a 45 minute drive west of Washington -- an area which has the fastest growing Asian-American community in the U.S.

Asians made up just 4.8 percent of the American population in the last U.S. Census.

But in Virginia politics, where races are tight, Asian-American voters matter.

“No one wins by two or more 3 points points, so every vote counts in Virginia,” Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott said.

That’s why Monica Lee – a Vietnamese American – is here campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

“She’s gonna fight for our access women healthcare, reproductive rights. She’s going to fight for education for all. I think she’s the best candidate to do that,” Lee said.

CCTV America’s Jim Spellman also asked former Olympic Figure Skater Michelle Kwan why she supports Clinton.

Former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan describes her support for Clinton

Watch Jim Spellman's interview with former Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan on why she supports Hillary Clinton.

David Do is organizing events in Virginia for Senator Bernie Sanders. He believes Sanders will help more Americans get a college education and become middle class, because he’s not taking campaign money from Wall Street.

“I’ve been passionate about Bernie Sanders since last April when he announced his campaign to run on a clean campaign,” Do said. “A campaign without any major funding from billionaires.”

Puneet Ahluwalia, an Indian-American, is campaigning for Republican Marco Rubio. He said Rubio’s Cuban heritage helps him relate to minority voters who care about the economy and security.

“Most don’t realize that we still are flat economy, and we are threatened by the terrorists at all times,” Ahluwalia said.

But a critical problem for candidates courting the Asian-American vote is turnout. Many register to vote, but don’t show up at the polls.

“We’re door-knocking, making sure that we translate and speak in the languages that are important to our communities,” Do said.