WASHINGTON -- An influential group of Asian-American lawmakers endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Los Angeles on Tuesday, giving her a boost ahead of next week's California primary.
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Leadership PAC, which includes several representatives and senators from California, urged Asian-American and Pacific Islander voters to back Clinton to combat presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric.
"There is so much at stake in this election, and we cannot tolerate any presidential candidate who promotes fear tactics, hateful rhetoric against immigrants and bullying," CAPAC chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said on Tuesday, alluding to Trump.
"We AAPIs must turn out the vote and ensure that our voice matters," Chu said. "We must support the candidate who will bring us together, and make our nation more equal and just for everyone -- and that person is Hillary Clinton."
Clinton is preparing to officially clinch the Democratic presidential nomination after the California primary on June 7, and is hoping for a substantial victory that day. However, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has also invested heavily in the state, and the race may be tighter than expected.
Clinton's campaign has focused on outreach to Asian-Americans, and she has outperformed Sanders with minority voters in other states. The fastest growing minority group in the country, Asian-Americans make up a significant voting bloc in California, comprising over 12 percent of the state's eligible voting population.
A national survey of Asian-American voters released last week shows that many support Clinton, though a majority of younger Asian-Americans support Sanders.
The same survey found that Asian-American voters are particularly concerned about Trump's racist and anti-immigrant remarks. About 61 percent of respondents held a negative view of Trump, and 41 percent indicated that they wouldn't vote for a political candidate who makes anti-immigrant appeals.
Asian-American voters in California and nationwide have increasingly supported the Democratic Party in recent elections. President Barack Obama won 73 percent of the Asian-American vote to GOP challenger Mitt Romney's 26 percent in 2012, an even higher margin of victory than Obama's advantage among Latino voters.