More Indian-Americans likely to turn out for voting just because of Kamala Harris, reveals survey

Will Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his vice presidential nominee impact Indian-Americans? A survey conducted by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in collaboration with YouGov has revealed that at least 45 per cent of Indian-Americans feel that they are more likely to vote because of Indian-origin Kamala Harris. Interestingly, another 40 per cent said that Kamala Harris’ selection does not make any difference. Only 10 per cent, however, said they are unlikely to vote because of Kamala Harris. “In all, the Harris pick does seem to have galvanized a large section of the Indian American community with respect to turning out to vote,” the survey said.

“49 percent of respondents indicated that Harris’s nomination made them more enthusiastic about Biden’s candidacy while just 15 percent reported that it made them less enthusiastic,” it said.

But why Harris makes Indian-Americans enthusiastic about Biden? Is it only because of her origin?

Yes, for at least 26 per cent respondents. About 19 per cent respondents see Harris as a moderate voice, 16 per cent would rally behind Harris because she is a woman.

The analysis has based on a nationally representative online survey of 936 Indian American citizens conducted between September 1 and September 20, 2020.

“Even though Indian Americans comprise slightly more than 1 percent of the total U.S. population—and less than 1 percent of all registered voters — both major parties are leaving no stone unturned in reaching out to this community,” the study said.

Other findings of the survey

Indian Americans remain solidly with the Democratic Party: Despite Trump-Modi ties, there is scant evidence that Democratic voters are defecting toward Trump and the Republican Party. Seventy-two percent of registered Indian American voters plan to vote for Biden and 22 percent intend to vote for Trump in the 2020 November election.

India-US relationship not a key factor: Economy and healthcare are the two most important issues influencing the vote choice of Indian Americans.

Polarised views: Indian-American voters hold “markedly negative views of the opposing party and divergent positions on several contentious policy issues—from immigration to law enforcement.”

Republican Party unwelcoming: “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,” the survey said.

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