Sunday, December 4th, 2022 20:31:49

Biden or Trump: Who would Indian origin people vote for?

By Ravi Mishra
Updated: October 19, 2020 12:22 am

One of the common similarities between India and the United States is that there is democracy in both countries: One is the world’s largest democracy and the other is the world’s most powerful democracy. In 2019, General elections were held in India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi got an unprecedented mandate again. Now US Presidential Elections are scheduled to take place on November 3, 2020. Incumbent President Donald Trump, who represents Republican, is once again running for the President against Joe Biden, who is representing Democrats.

In 2016 elections campaigns, economy, border security, illegal immigration,  foreign policy, trade policy, healthcare, terrorism were the top issue for Donald Trump and he succeeded in dragging  voters’ attention over these issues. According to the Economist, GDP growth of US was faster in 2017-19 than it was in either Barack Obama’s first or second term. In 2018 it slowed down but America accelerated. In 2019 America slowed too, but stayed ahead of others. Of course, now the US economy is struggling because of the Chinese virus. So it is evident that the US economy under Donald Trump has performed well. Yes, this is also true that for this growth, Donald Trump initiated trade war with China which is a big disruption in the world economy. On foreign policy front too, Donlad trump has done much better and the new historic deal between Israel and UAE is the best example. Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) to tackle hegemony of China in Indo-pacific, withdrawal of US troops from Syria and Iraq, Peace process in Afghanistan if succeeded are the big achievements for the US under Donald Trump.

Now coming to the point, Indian origin people living in the US have been the traditional voters of Democrats, but in previous elections their votes for Republican increased. Now, as the India-US ties under Donald Trump are all time high, would this turn into votes for Republican? However, this is also a fact that Kamala Harris, who is of partial Indian origin, is also running for Vice-President as Democrats.

Khanderao Kand, Director of US-based Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS) and Founder & President of Global Indian Technology Professionals Association (GITPRO), and a Silicon Valley-based entrepreneurial technocrat, speaking over this issue says, “Based on a survey conducted by Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies, a US based policy research institute, around 70% of first generation adult Indo-Americans supported President Trump’s policies related to India, anti-China stand, Economy and law-and-order. However, they did not support his handling of racism, environment and hi-tech immigration.”

“There is also a divide between the immigrant (first generation) Indo-Americans and US-born (second generation) Indo-Americans who predominantly support democrats. We see a shift in Indo-Americans’ opinion between FIIDS’ similar survey on US elections done in 2016 with the current survey. During 2016, about 80% Indo-American supported Senator Hillary Clinton (Democratic candidate) and in 2020, about 70% of the first generation (migrant) Indo-Americans are supporting President Donald Trump (Republican). However, the second generation support (80%) Democrats,” Khanderao Kand added.

Kand says, “After the first debate, and as of the first week of October, the handling of Covid vs economy, stands on racism and law-and-order are dominating. However, the issues like medicare, abortion policies, and tax-policies will start emerging. However, this is the first election where a question about whether America remains capitalist or drifts towards socialist will be reflected.”

“Under Prime Minister Modi’s leadership, India has emerged as an emerging economy with an international influence. Hence, any elected President of the United States will extend a hand of friendship towards India. However, republican president will be more supportive to India on international affairs while democratic president will focus on economic relations. President Trump will support India on various sensitive issues like Kashmir while Vice President Joe Biden may raise issues like social justice in India,” Kand further added.

Talking on Kamala Harris,  Khanderao Kand says,  “After the nomination of Senator Kamala Harris as a vice presidential candidate some Indo-American voters rejoiced to see an Indian decent person reaching to this level. Many others pointed that she never fully embraced Indo-American identity, rather she projected the African American more than the Indo-American identity. However, as America being a cultural melting pot, such mixed identities are bound to evolve.  If elected, she will be the first one to break the glass ceiling to be the first woman reached at the highest level of the executive branch of the USA .”

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