Results from a recent survey indicate 72% of registered Indian American voters plan to vote for Vice President Joe Biden over incumbent President Donald Trump in the 2020 Unites States presidential election, The Hindu reports.
The survey, conducted by Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the University of Pennsylvania, also dispute that Trump’s relationship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi may drive more Indian Americans to vote Republican.
It found that U.S. and India relations are ranked low among issues that motivate Indian Americans to vote, signaling that the population does indeed lean Democratic, NPR reports.
“And that is actually in keeping with past trends of the pro-Democratic orientation of Indian Americans in this country in terms of their voter turnout,” said Milan Vaishnav, director of South Asia Program at Carnegie Endowment of International Peace and co-author of the study.
Indians are a relatively small voting bloc in the U.S. but is nevertheless important in certain swing states such as New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to NPR.
Furthermore, their numbers have grown by more than 150% since 2000.
Indian Americans have also seen an unprecedented rate of contact by both Democratic and Republican parties in the election, Vaishnav told NPR. Both parties have produced online and television ads specifically targeting Indian Americans, with Republicans emphasizing Trump’s positive relationship with Modi and Democrats advocating open immigration.
“And so we are seeing both sides really court this vote, I think, in new and interesting ways, which is a recognition that their, sort of, time in the political spotlight has really arrived,” Vaishnav said.
However, fake news to target the Indian American community is circulating on platforms like WhatsApp, Reuters reports.
Due to WhatsApp’s confidentiality and lack of moderation, misleading memes and misinformation fly “under the radar,” even though it serves as a “crucial political forum” among older-generation Indian Americans and other ethnic minorities.
And while the fake news targets the Democrats more than Republicans, there are misinformation about both parties and their respective political candidates, the Reuters article states.
Chavi Khanna Koneru, executive director of nonpartisan group North Carolina Asian Americans Together, told Reuters moderating digital misinformation is all the more important during the pandemic.
“There’s just a lot of inaccurate information for an already confusing [election] process,” Koneru said . “And this year is different for everybody because we’re relying on virtual connections more than ever.”
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