New Delhi:Atlantic Council, a leading American think tank, has claimed that the Republican camp could garner more support from the Indian-Americans in the backdrop of bonhomie between US PresidentDonald Trumpand PMNarendra Modiand also because of the position taken by the Democrats on theKashmir issue.
While the community is not a monolith and the Democrats will get support from it, the community preference has shifted of late, claimed a study, The Indian American Voter in 2020, published on September 9. “In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections, Indian Americans raised over $10 million towards the Democratic ticket, enthusiastically endorsing a bid for a Clinton presidency.
However, as one of the most powerful and influential fundraising demographics for any given campaign in US politics, some Indian American donors have slowly leaned towards President Donald J. Trump,” according to the Atlantic Council. “From serving as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s opener during his September 2019 visit to Houston to a showy state visit to Modi’s hometown in Gujarat in February, President Trump has made unprecedented efforts to connect and reach the Indian-American community.”
The Asian-American community has historically supported the Democratic Party in presidential elections. The 2016 exit polls indicated that four out of five (79%) Asian Americans voted for Hillary Clinton, while only 18% voted for Trump. South Asians (most of whom are Indian-American) were among Clinton’s strongest supporters, with 90% voting for the Democratic candidate, according to the Atlantic Council. “The 2016 poll numbers came from a culmination of efforts made by the Obama-Biden administration to forge an otherwise unlikely friendship with the Modi government,” the study explained.
The think tank claimed that much has changed since the Obama years. “Beyond the symbolic bonhomie, the Democrats have continued to make critical remarks about the state of religious freedom in India and Kashmir more generally,” the study noted indicating that this may have had impact on the Indian American community.