Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

John J. Pitney

Reader 2

Tamara Venit-Shelton

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Rights Information

1999 Vi T Nguyen


Asian Americans continue to be an untapped force within American politics. Despite their status as the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the United States they have had surprisingly low political participation rates.[1] But 2020 represented a watershed moment. Campaign outreach and voter participation increased, and Asian Americans assumed new prominence on the national stage. Nonetheless, the 2020 elections also demonstrate historical divides within the community and a lack of cohesion as a voting group.

This thesis investigates Asian American voter behavior during the 2020 election and links trends within this year's elections to assess Asian American panethnicity. It focuses on anti-Asian sentiment and violence, mobilized Asian American voters, and encouraged the growth of panethnicity. This thesis analyzes Georgia and California's local and national election results to confirm the theory that political threats created an increase in panethnicity. Drawing on election results and Asian American voter behavior in these two states, the findings of this work demonstrate moments in which Asian Americans as a voting bloc shift; however, there is no evidence for long term changes and the development of a nationwide Asian panethnic identity. Ultimately, the voting behavior of Asian ethnic groups in the United States will continue to change. Campaigns must take account of their linguistic and cultural diversity to mobilize Asian Americans successfully.