The Biden campaign has released the first in a series of ads targeting Asian American and Pacific Islander voters — and specifically, small-business owners.
The 30-second clip, shared first with NBC News, features a Vietnamese American woman whose parents fled to the U.S. during the war and started a restaurant. Now a business owner herself with a young family, Jenny Poon says she is flourishing, having learned from watching her parents.
“I learned what it takes to build a business and raise a family,” Poon said in the ad.
Asian American voters tend to lean left, according to APIA Vote’s 2022 Asian American voter survey. When it came to party identification, 44% identified with the Democratic Party, 19% with the Republican Party and 29% were independent.
Under the Asian American umbrella, Japanese voters were the most Democratic, at 57%, and Vietnamese voters were the least, at 23%. But an analysis by progressive firm Catalist found that the Democrats’ advantage with AAPI voters fell from 66% to 59% from 2020 to 2022.
Asian Americans also own more businesses than any other minority ethnic group in the U.S., according to a January report by the Census Bureau. As of 2020, there were 612,194 Asian-owned U.S. businesses, employing about 5.2 million people. In the accommodation and food services sector specifically, Asians outnumbered other minority groups by a large margin, the report said.
“Our first ad, ‘Family Business,’ communicates the clear choice facing the AAPI community next November — between President Biden’s commitment to investing in our small businesses and our families, or MAGA Republicans solely focused on tax breaks for the wealthy and powerful corporations,” Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.
The Biden campaign is prepared to roll out many more pieces of media like this ad. Campaign representatives said more television, radio and print programming will follow, including in-language materials targeted toward Indian, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Vietnamese and other South Asian communities.
“The Asian American vote will likely be decisive in battleground states like Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia, which are decided by such a small margin,” Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., told NBC News in August. “Democrats need to speak to the aspirations of the community, which is to have the opportunity for the American dream for themselves and their kids. It’s about education and pathways to good paying jobs.”
Sakshi Venkatraman is a reporter for NBC Asian America.