Faculty & Staff Achievements

Ignored Asian American Electorate ‘A Sleeping Giant,’ USF Prof. Says On MSNBC

by Daniel Morgan

Prof. James Zarsadiaz recently appeared on MSNBC to discuss how Asian Americans — the fastest-growing racial group in the U.S. — have the potential to be a deciding voting bloc in the 2016 presidential election, but, historically, their concerns have been largely ignored by presidential candidates.

Traditionally, he told the MSNBC host, Asian American voters have leaned right or stood in the ideological middle, and, since the 1960’s, their ideals have aligned more with the Republican Party.

Today, however, the Asian American electorate is moving further and further left.

According to Prof. Zarsadiaz, this is primarily due to a new, left-leaning generation of Asian Americans coming of age, but it’s also, to a degree, a direct result of Donald Trump’s controversial campaign, which has even some of the most stalwart Asian American Republicans unsure of their November vote.

“Candidates and political consultants have yet to acknowledge Asian American voters as the sleeping political giant they are,” he wrote in an article published earlier this month on SFGate, which prompted the invitation to appear on MSNBC. “Asian American voters are still up for grabs, especially when it comes to national security and economic issues. Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and their respective campaigns could benefit from the Asian American vote if they work for it.”