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Whom are the Indian-American’s voting for in the US Presidential Election?


As USA goes to polls within a few hours, which way are the Indian-Americans likely to lean? Most surveys indicate that a majority of them support the Democratic Party.


The Republican Presidential Nominee, Donald Trump has been a man of controversy for his comments on immigrants, women and religious minorities through out his election campaign. It was not very different when he attended a fund-raising event in New Jersey organized by the Hindu Republican Coalition. Mr. Trump said, “I am a big fan of Hindu, and I am a big fan of India. Big, big fan” and also seemed uncomfortable to learn that India had large populations of Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Jains. It is of great interest then; if he thought being Hindu and being Indian was the same thing or he really meant that he is in awe of Hinduism as a religion.

indian-americans-for-trump1Photo Courtesy: AP

So an advocacy group in the US decided to send all the US Presidential nominees a booklet titled “More Answers to Real Questions about Hinduism.” Hopefully the booklet should help the Presidential Nominees debunk any myths and misconceptions. Meanwhile in India, a right wing group in New Delhi has taken it upon itself to enjoy a bit of the limelight as well in the US election drama. They held a protest by burning Democratic Presidential Nominee Hilary Clinton’s posters. They even carried “India Loves Trump” and “Indian-Americans Support Trump” hailing Mr. Trump as their hero.

Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Which way will the Indian-Americans lean?

Amidst all the burning and the fund-raising, whom are the Indian- Americans voting for? Advocacy and justice groups called Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific Islander American Vote and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders surveyed data in this regard.

They found that nearly 60% of Indian-Americans were not likely to vote for the Republican Party. 22% said they would want Mr. Trump to be the president and 16% did not have an opinion.

Answering “if a political candidate expressed strong anti-Muslim views, and you agreed with him or her on other issues, would you still vote for that candidate, or would you vote for someone else,” 59% Indian-Americans said they will vote for someone else.

According to a PEW Research Report in 2012, “Only about half (51%) of Indian Americans are Hindu, 18% of Indian Americans identified themselves as Christians and 10% said they were Muslim. The religious shares of Indian Americans are markedly different from those of India itself (where an estimated 79.8% of the population is Hindu and only 2.3% is Christian, reflecting differential migration patterns). The Report also suggested that Indian-Americans traditionally lean left in the United States. 65% of them identify with the Democratic Party and its liberal views.

Even the latest poll by National Asian American Survey suggests that Asian-Americans are unified against Donald Trump. According to the survey, 59% of the Asian-Americans lean with Democrats. The democratic leaning is more prominent among the Indian-Americans with 70% of them leaning towards democrats.

Featured image: screenshot from YouTube video.


About Author

Tejeswi Pratima Dodda is a communications professional. She is passionate about social justice, gender mainstreaming and conflict.

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