For years, Vietnamese-Americans in particular tended to vote Republican, a byproduct of the GOP’s strong opposition to communism. But just as with the descendants of Cuban-Americans in Florida who fled Fidel Castro’s communist dictatorship, the second and third generations of the original Vietnamese immigrants who fled Hanoi are more open to voting for Democrats, if not more inclined to. This generational divide is found in other Asian-American cohorts as well.“All things being equal, a little bit of love and attention in a native language goes along way,” Steel said, explaining the best way for the Republican Party to forge a politically profitable relationship with Asian-American communities.
Until 2018, that strategy worked wonders for Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo.He lost in November, another victim of the blue tide that ejected Republicans from power in the House. But prior to this year, Coffman won several hard-fought races in suburban Denver because of the strong relationships he forged with the diverse array of different Asian-Americans who live in the 6th Congressional District.“He was the only politician that ever showed up. And he didn’t just show up once, he showed up 20 times,” said Tyler Sandberg, Coffman’s longtime campaign manager.