One of the least-reported political stories in Georgia is the punch packed by what is known as the Asian Pacific voters.
Close-knit, entrepreneurial, and centered largely in Atlanta, the "AP's" consist of voters from communities in the Pacific — Vietnamese Americans, Filipino Americans, Chinese Americans, Indian Americans, and Korean Americans.
And they could well spell the difference in the Dec. 6 special Senate election in the Peach State between incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., and Republican challenger Herschel Walker.
Roughly 3% of the electorate in Georgia — or 238,000 eligible voters — are AP voters.
"And a good, strong effort by the Republicans to win over this community could be the key factor in a win by Herschel," California's Republican National Committeeman Shawn Steel told Newsmax.
Steel has long been a spirited advocate of wooing the Asian American community into the Republican camp. Following the election of his wife Michelle Park Steel as the first-ever Korean American woman in Congress in 2020, both Steels, as well as Republican Rep.-elect Young Kim (who won the neighboring district to Michelle's and is also of Korean heritage) jetted to Georgia to help win over Republicans in the runoff elections for both of its Senate seats.
"But the problem was that neither [Republican Sens.] David Perdue or Kelly Loeffler had any relationships with the growing AP community in their state," Steel told us. "And that was unfortunate."
In November of '20, the AP community was instrumental in helping Joe Biden pull off his narrow (and controversial) capture of Georgia's electoral votes. Two months later, Democrats eked out victories in the runoffs for both Senate seats: Warnock won the special election runoff over appointed Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., by 93,550 votes out of more than 4.5 million cast (51% to 49%), and Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Ga., won the runoff for a full term over Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., by 44,944 votes out of 4.5 million cast (50.61% to 49.39%).
In both races, a spirited Republican effort among the 238,000 voters in the AP community might easily have made the difference for Republicans — and maintained their majority in the Senate.
"I feel like the Republicans are reluctant to reach out and woo the Asian voters and that's why were overwhelmed by the Democrats [in Georgia in 2020]," Atlanta real estate investor Sunny Park, who emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea 50 years ago, told Newsmax. "The Democrats brought in so many people from California, and bombarded us with paid volunteers — yes, I know that sounds contradictory — who talk just like us and know the right people to connect with in the community."
Park underscored he has "tried to push the Republican National Committee and our state and local Republican leaders to do something about this in 2022."
A win by Herschel Walker in a sure-to-be tight contest might well determine whether the efforts of Park and the Steels have been fruitful.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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