Latest polling data shows Indian-Americans continue to lean towards Democrats

By Chidanand Rajghatta, Times of India |

Asian-American voters, including Indian-Americans, continue to lean heavilty towards the Democratic the Democratic Party, with 54 per cent saying they are inclined to vote for Joe Biden, 29 per cent for Donald Trump and 16 per cent undecided, according to early polling by AAPIData, which publishes policy research & demographic data on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders. 

Restricting the analysis to those who have decided on a candidate in the upcoming Presidential race, 65% support Biden, 34% support Trump, and 1% support another candidate. 

Granular details of the survey, which was conducted July 4 to August 16, will be released in September. But Indian-Americans, who tend to lean even more Democratic than other Asian-americans such as Vietnamese and Filipinos, will be buoyed by Biden's choice of Kamala Harris as a running mate, according to Prof Karthick Ramakrishnan of University of California, Riverside, who conducted the survey, and who described her nomination as a "game changer."

The Democrats' choice could counter Trump's outreach to Indian-Americans through the Howdy Modi rally and his visit to India, Ramakrishnan said.

Ramakrishnan, who has studied Asian- and Indian-American voting trends over three election cycles going back to 2008, noted the latest polling results are consistent with past leanings, despite some marginal shift away from the Democratic Party. Claims some Indian-American supporters of Trump that there has been a big shift towards Republicans are dubious given lack of detail about their dta and methodology, he said, noting that his own polling did not bear the claim. 

According to Ramakrishnan, there are nearly 1.8 milllion eligible Indian-American voters in the US, and they are present in sufficiently large numbers in at least six swing states-including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida--to make a difference to the final outcome. 

Desribing Harris' nomination as a historic moment, Ramakrishnan said she made a lot of headway among Asian American donors and supporters alike in the course of her presidential campaign, and "we will likely see a lot more engagement in the months to come" in terms of fund raising from Indian-Americans. Although President Trump had built on strong ties with  India his predecessors had established, Indian-Americans tend to vote more on domestic economic issues than on foreign policy, he added.

"US foreign policy does not register as a priority for Indian-Americans. Issues such as economy, health care, immigration, racial discrimination, and education are consistently among the top five priorities," he said. 


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