New Delhi: More than 70 per cent of registered Indian American voters plan to vote for Joe Biden in next month’s US presidential election and only 22 per cent of the rest will vote for Donald Trump, according to the 2020 Indian American Attitude Survey (IAAS). Also Read - US Presidential Debate: "Look at China, Russia, India... Air is Filthy", Trump Justifies Stand on Climate Change
The responses from 936 Indian Americans surveyed online in the first 20 days of September showed that 56 per cent of respondents said they identified as a Democrat, while only 15 per cent saw themselves as Republican. Also Read - Malarkey: The Most Searched Word During US Presidential Debate 2020
The report adds that Indian Americans also do not consider the US-India relationship a major factor in their voting decision – something that is likely to run against President Donald Trump, who has stressed on his close ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed “great support from India” in a bid to win over the community. Also Read - COVID-19 Vaccine Ready, To Be Announced in Weeks, Says Trump In Final Presidential Debate
In any case, according to the survey, most Indian Americans believe the Democrats do a better job of managing US-India ties.
The Indian American vote – the second-largest immigrant group in the US – is in the spotlight even though the community represents less than one per cent of registered US voters.
Increased support for Trump was expected by the Republicans, particularly after widely-covered and lavish visits were exchanged between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi; Mr Trump visited in February while PM Modi’s “Howdy Modi!” event in Houston was in September last year.
News agency Reuters reported that “speculation” said the community may not favor Biden as he may be tougher on India on issues such as, human rights and civil liberties that activists say are increasingly at risk under PM Modi.
But, according to the report’s authors, “the big takeaway is that there is scant evidence for… popular narratives (that indicate) widespread defection of Democratic voters toward Trump.”
“There is little evidence of a significant evolution in partisan allegiances since 2016. The vast majority (91 per cent) of Indian Americans who voted for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 2016 plan to support Biden in 2020,” the authors said.
Instead, voters who were polled listed the economy and healthcare as their top two concerns in the lead-up to the vote, while US-India ties were near the bottom of the list.
Among the survey’s other findings is this interesting note – that although Indian Americans of all faiths prefer Biden to Trump, support for the Democrat candidate is significantly stronger from Muslims (82 per cent) than Hindus (67 per cent).
The Christian community, meanwhile, leans more toward Mr Trump, with 45 per cent of the respondents preferring the Republican as American President, whose health condition following hospitalisation for a COVID-19 infection has also made headlines.
Indian American men and women both prefer Mr Biden to Mr Trump, and by considerable margins. Sixty-nine per cent of women and 68 per cent of men intend to vote for the Democrat, while just 19 per cent of women and 24 per cent of men plan to vote for Mr Trump.
The survey was a collaboration between the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins-SAIS, and the University of Pennsylvania.