The Asian-American and Pacific Islanders community will soon be hearing a lot from vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., making them the latest voting bloc in 2016 to receive serious attention from Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Kaine, who accepted a role as Clinton's running mate last month, will reportedly be playing a key role in appealing to the AAPI community in key swing states.
"This campaign understands that turning out the AAPI vote is critical, and that's why we will continue to engage AAPI voters in key states such as Virginia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania," a Clinton aide told the Hill.
The source added, "Sen. Kaine will continue to travel across the country to amplify Hillary's record for the AAPI community. The campaign will continue to conduct outreach in Asian languages, deploy a robust network of AAPI and South Asian surrogates, and continue to active our vast 'AAPI for Hillary' volunteer groups, including South Asians for Hillary."
Prior to even being chosen as Clinton's running mate, Kaine was reportedly already making inroads with the AAPI community. He met with an "elite group of South Asian liberals" in June in Washington, D.C., to discuss the general election, ABC News reported.
Kaine is also no stranger to the community, which tends to lean Democratic. He won more than 70 percent of the AAPI vote during his 2012 Senate race.
And along with having already established a good rapport with AAPI voters, Kaine has also been working behind the scenes to help a super PAC, the AAPI Victory Fund, with its goal of registering new Asian-American voters and boosting election turnout.
Reports that Kaine has been designated to do targeted, precision outreach to AAPI voters follow closely on efforts by the Clinton campaign to appeal to the Mormon and Puerto Rican voting blocs.
"[I]t's really important to me that we do what we can to help the people of Puerto Rico get the kind of support that they deserve to have," Clinton said Tuesday at a campaign stop in Kissimmee, Fla. "If you live in Puerto Rico, you can't vote for your president and commander in chief, right? But, as an American citizen, if you moved to Florida or New York, you can vote for the president and commander in chief!"
"I want to do everything I can to get Puerto Rico back on a path of prosperity to help the people in Puerto Rico and to do everything I can to make sure that they are not left out and left behind," she added. "Because they are part of our family, and I am going to do what I can to make sure that they get the help that they need."
Later, in an op-ed published by the Deseret News Wednesday, Clinton made a play for disaffected Mormon voters.
"I've been fighting to defend religious freedom for years," Clinton wrote. "As secretary of state, I made it a cornerstone of our foreign policy to protect the rights of religious minorities around the world — from Coptic Christians in Egypt to Buddhists in Tibet."