Indian Americans are showing a large shift as likely voters for President Trump in many surveys conducted across the country. There is a surge of 10-15% voters in view of Trump’s respect to the Indian American community over the last several months, and his close ties with Prime Minister Modi have enhanced the impact of his affinity towards India and Indian Americans.
His open friendship with India is not only by President Trump, but his entire family including his sons Donald Jr., Eric, and daughter Ivanka are campaigning within the Indian American community. Eric Trump addressed a group of Indian Americans in Atlanta, Georgia, and his forthright appreciation of India and Indian Americans was impressive.
President Trump’s visit to India and his stance on Article 370 and CAA have definitely caused many Indian American Democratic supporters to change their mind. Recent polls show the possibility of President Trump getting 35-40% Indian American votes, compared to 20-22% in the 2016 elections that he received.
President Trump’s stand against China’s deliberate attempts to rake the border issue with India has made many Indian American Democratic friends rethink their loyalty to the Democratic Party.
The recent utterances of Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris on the Kashmir issue and trying to build a new relationship with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue has terribly upset many Indian Americans. Also, former Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s not so friendly remarks on India on Kashmir and humanitarian issues has turned off many of his supporters.
It will be very interesting to watch the first presidential debate of 2020. One can recall how strong the performance of Trump against Hillary Clinton was and it will be interesting to see Biden’s performance.
The prediction is that Trump’s debating skills and his attacks on Biden as “sleepy Joe” will be devastating to Biden.
Time will tell. Let us wait to see possibly the biggest debate of our times.
Dr. Sampat Shivangi
Indian American Forum