Why Indian Americans Matter in U.S. Politics

Why Indian Americans Matter in U.S. Politics


America’s second-largest immigrant group mostly supports Democratic candidates, but support for Trump has grown since the 2016 election.

By Safiya Ghori-Ahmad and Fatima Salman

In the last decade, Democrats and Republicans in the United States have come to see Indian Americans as a demographic of growing influence. Although they make up just 1 percent of the electorate, Indian Americans comprise the second largest immigrant group in the United States (after Mexican Americans). And their numbers are expanding rapidly: According to the U.S. census, between 2000 and 2018 the Indian American population grew by nearly 150 percent. The community is also the highest-earning ethnic group in the country, with a median income of $100,000 in 2015—nearly double the national average that year. Accordingly, Indian Americans have been tapped as a donor-base for both parties, contributing nearly $10 million towards the Democratic ticket in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential elections.

In the 2020 presidential election, the Trump and Biden campaigns have made concerted efforts to air television advertisements targeting the Indian American voter. Competing Trump and Biden ads, in Hindi and several regional dialects, are running amid Bollywood films and telenovela-style Indian shows on popular South Asian networks in the United States such as TVAsia and Sony Entertainment TV.

By picking Kamala Devi Harris as his running mate—the California senator had an Indian mother and a Jamaican father—the Biden campaign has mobilized significant support from the Indian American community. Harris is vocal about her biracial identity, embracing her Indian roots, the impact of which is most visible at fundraisers. At a single fundraising event in September, the Biden Victory Fund raised a record-breaking $3.3 million from the Indian American community.

Although Indian Americans tend to lean left, we have seen in the last four years that their party allegiances are not binding.

Having grown politically active, donating more to candidates and running for office, the visibility of Indian Americans will be hard to ignore.

Read the rest @ https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/10/21/why-indian-americans-matter-in-us-politics/


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *