Indian-Americans continue to be strongly attached to the Democratic Party, with little indication of a shift towards the Republican Party, a latest survey of the community in the US said on Wednesday.As many as 72 per cent of the registered Indian-American voters plan to vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while 22 per cent intend to vote for incumbent Republican Donald Trump, three per cent will support a third-party candidate, and three per cent do not intend to vote at all, according to the survey.According to the report, "Kitchen table" issues dominate over foreign policy concerns, Kamala Harris has mobilised Indian-Americans, especially Democrats, and political beliefs have seeped into perceptions of the US-India bilateral relations.The report -- "How Will Indian Americans Vote?'' -- is an outcome of a collaboration between the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins-SAIS and the University of Pennsylvania.
An emerging narrative is also taking shape which suggests that the bonhomie enjoyed by Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- compounded by concerns over how a Biden administration might manage the US-India ties -- is pushing Indian-American voters to abandon the Democratic Party, the report said.Results from a new survey, however, find "no empirical evidence" to support either of these claims.
"Despite talk about how America's ties with India might shape Indian-American voting behaviour this election, the US-India relations rank next to last on voters' list of priorities. Instead, the economy and healthcare are the two most important issues influencing voters this election," said the survey.
The candidacy of Harris, the vice-presidential nominee of the Democratic party, has galvanised a sizeable share of the Indian-American community to turn out to vote. While the Harris pick might not change large numbers of votes, her candidacy has whipped up more enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket, it said.Further, Indian-Americans believe that Democrats do a better job of managing the US-India ties by a considerable margin while Republicans hold more favourable views on Modi, said the report.Noting that Indian-Americans exhibit signs of a significant political polarisation, the survey report said that the US-born Indian-Americans tilt left compared to foreign-born citizens.
"Indian-Americans refrain from identifying with the Republican Party due, in part, to a perception that the party is intolerant of minorities and overly influenced by Christian evangelicalism. Those who identify as Republicans are primarily moved to do so because of the economic policy differences with the Democrats -- with particularly marked differences regarding healthcare," it said.