By Aram Suren Hamparian, ANCA Executive Director
In the wake of Joe Biden arming genocidal Azerbaijan’s ethnic cleansing of Artsakh’s 120,000 indigenous Armenians, American voters of Armenian heritage – understandably outraged over the President’s complicity in this crime – are poised to play a decisive role in the 2024 presidential election.
Armenian Americans are well-respected as a highly motivated electorate and are – within America’s current political landscape – particularly well-positioned in competitive election states. The largest and most established Armenian population centers flourish across California (upwards of 750,000) and along the Amtrak Corridor, from Nashua, New Hampshire down to Richmond, Virginia, with sizable communities across the Mid-West – in the Detroit suburbs of southeast Michigan, and the Racine, Kenosha, and Waukegan region of Wisconsin. Notably, highly motivated Armenian Americans in Pennsylvania were widely credited with playing a decisive role in the Fetterman-Oz Senate race. Newer communities are growing in Phoenix, Arizona and in the Las Vegas/Henderson area of Nevada, as tens of thousands of Armenian Americans move to these cities from California.
Americans of Armenian heritage, well represented across the U.S. political spectrum, are known for crossing party lines to vote for candidates who support Armenian issues. In the wake of President Biden’s complicity in Azerbaijan’s war crimes, many will cast their ballots on this single issue.
In terms of coalitions, Armenian Americans are historically close to other Christian communities with roots in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Greater Middle East, including Greeks, Serbs, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Lebanese, Arameans, Maronites, Copts, and others. Armenians are supported by fellow Christians – including Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical. Azerbaijan’s recent attack sparked an outpouring of support from American faith-based and human rights groups.
A baseline for any candidate seeking our support for the presidency – incumbent or challenger – is a track record of condemning any and all U.S. complicity in Azerbaijan’s genocide of Artsakh and its aggression against Armenia. That is the very minimum – the starting point for a dialogue with the voters whose support they seek. There is no free pass for complicity, no reward for silence, no tolerance for “both-siding” genocide. That is our bright red line.
Armenian Americans vote. And, to be sure, come next year, they will vote in unprecedented numbers. Add to that the multiplier that Armenians talk – to their friends and neighbors, coworkers and classmates. All signs point to Armenian Americans as a potentially decisive factor in the hotly contested 2024 presidential race.