New Delhi, October 17 (HuffPost India/PTI): From the media coverage of Donald Trump’s popularity amongst Hindu nationalists, it may seem that he has found backing amongst Indian Americans. But the National Asian American Survey in its report dated October 5 ,found that 67 % of Indian Americans are for Hillary Clinton, reports Shivam Vij in HuffPost India.
The survey found that only 7 % would vote for Trump. This was the lowest support Trump got amongst Asian communities. At 11 %, even the Chinese had more likely Trump voters than Indians, Vij points out.
The survey was carried out between 10 August and 29 September, when Trump’s ratings were still ahead of Clinton’s. Since the revelations of Trump’s attitudes towards women, he has begun trailing Clinton. It is likely that his support among Asian Americans, including Indians, has fallen even further, Vij says.
On favorability, 67% Indians gave Trump a very unfavorable rating, and another 12% ticked the somewhat unfavorable option. For Hillary, 70% Indian Americans found her to be very or somewhat favorable.
Indians are the second largest Asian group in the US. Of all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Indians are 19%, exceeded only by the Chinese, who are 23%.
Reasons For Rejecting Trump
According to Vij, it is understandable why Indian Americans are shying away from Trump. His rhetoric is not just anti-Muslim but also anti-immigrant. Trump has particularly opposed the number of H1B employment visas given to immigrants. He has accused Hillary Clinton of having ties with Indian info-tech companies, who “stole” American jobs. Indians are among the largest beneficiaries of H1B visas which allows them to come to the US for work.
Even apart from Trump’s candidacy, Indian Americans identify themselves a lot more with Democrats than Republicans. The identification of Indian Americans with the Democrats over Republicans is higher than any other Asian group, except the among Americans. Only 13% Indian Americans identify themselves with Republicans, 71% as Democrats and 18% as purely independent.
Indo-American Are Not Against Muslims Or Blacks
The National Asian American survey also found that Indian Americans to be more progressive than most other Asian communities. They are not anti-Muslim as it is generally imagines.
“No other Asian community opposes Trump’s idea of banning the Muslim community into the US as much as Indians. Only 11% Indians supported the idea, and 78% opposed it. Over all, 62% of those surveyed opposed the idea. The largest support for banning Muslims came from Cambodians (37%) and Vietnamese (31%) Americans,” Vij notes.
On the issue of racial justice — the American government doing more for the rights of the Black community — only 8% Indian Americans opposed the idea, as compared to 22% Filipinos and 21% Chinese.
Trump’ Bid to Woo Modi’s India
However, Trump is now beginning to woo Indians by praising India ,or Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s India, and through it reach out to the Hindus and the Bhartiya Janata Party which is anti-Muslim.
Reporting on a meeting arranged by American Hindus at Edison, Press Trust of India said that Trump characterized India as a “key strategic ally” of the US.
He promised that if voted to power, India and the US would become “best friends” and have a “phenomenal future” together.
“India’s is the world’s largest democracy and is a natural ally of the US,” Trump said.
“Under a Trump Administration, we are going to become even better friends, in fact I would take the term better out and we would be best friends,” he told a cheering crowd at the event organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition last week.
He praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for taking India on a fast track growth with a series of economic reforms and reforming bureaucracy, saying it was required in the US too.
“I look forward to working with Prime Minister Modi who has been very energetic in reforming the economy and bureaucracy. Great man. I applaud him,” Trump said.
Big Fan of “Hindu”
“I am a big fan of Hindu and I am a big fan of India. If elected, the Indian and Hindu community would have a true friend at the White House,” Trump told a meeting organized by Kashmiri Pundits and Bangladeshi Hindu terrorist victims.
“I have two massive developments in India, very successful, wonderful, wonderful partners, very beautiful, I must say. I have great friends and great confidence in India. Incredible people and an incredible country.
I was there 19 months ago and look forward to going there many many times,” he said.
Trump appreciated India’s role in fight against terrorism.
“We appreciate the great friend India has been to the US in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism,” he said as he slammed his rival Hillary Clinton for not using the term “Islamic terrorism.”
Trump said India had experienced firsthand “brutality of terror” in the past “including the mayhem in Mumbai, a place that I love, a place that I understand.”
The terrorist attack in Mumbai, the attack on Indian Parliament was “absolutely outrageous” and terrible, he said.
“India is a key, and key strategic ally. And we do not even want to talk about it, because it is nothing but a relationship that we will have. I look forward to deepening the diplomatic and military cooperation that is the shared interest of both countries,” he said.
“Your great Prime Minister has been a pro-growth leader for India. He has simplified the tax code, cut the taxes and the economy is strong growing at 7 per cent year. Excellent. Our economy is practically not growing at all in the US. It’s about zero. We will have a great relationship with India,” Trump said.
Facts about Indo-Americans
Many Indian Americans are recent arrivals: 87.2% of Indian-American adults in 2010 were foreign-born, the highest percentage among the six largest Asian-American groups; 37.6% of those had been in the U.S. 10 years or less. One consequence of so many Indian Americans having arrived so recently: Only 56.2% of adults were U.S. citizens, the lowest share among the six subgroups studied in detail.
Indian Americans are among the most highly educated racial or ethnic groups in the U.S: 70% of Indian Americans aged 25 and older had college degrees in 2010, by far the highest rate among the six Asian-American groups studied and 2.5 times the rate among the overall U.S. population. More recent (2013) data from the American Community Survey provides more detail: 40.6% of Indian Americans 25 and older have graduate or professional degrees, and 32.3% have bachelor’s degrees; an additional 10.4% have some college education. One likely factor: the large segment of Indian Americans who entered the country under the H1-B visa program, which allow highly skilled foreign workers in designated “specialty occupations” to work in the U.S. In 2011, for example, 72,438 Indians received H1-B visas, 56% of all such visas granted that year.
Not all Indian Americans are Hindu: Only about half (51%) of Indian Americans are Hindu, though nearly all Asian-American Hindus (93%) trace their heritage to India, according to our 2012 survey. 18% of Indian Americans identified themselves as Christians (as both Haley and Jindal do); 10% said they were Muslim. The religious shares of Indian Americans are markedly different from those of India itself (where an estimated 79.5% of the population is Hindu and only 2.5% is Christian, according to Pew Research’s 2012 Global Religious Landscape report), reflecting differential migration patterns.
Indian Americans generally are well-off: Median annual household income for Indian Americans in 2010 was $88,000, much higher than for all Asian Americans ($66,000) and all U.S. households ($49,800) — perhaps not surprising, given their high education levels. Only 9% of adult Indian Americans live in poverty, compared with 12% of Asian Americans overall and 13% of the U.S. population. In 2010, by our analysis, 28% of Indian American worked in science and engineering fields; according to the 2013 American Community Survey, more than two-thirds (69.3%) of Indian Americans 16 and older were in management, business, science and arts occupations.
Indian Americans lean left: 65% of Indian Americans were Democrats or leaned toward the Democrats, making them the Asian-American subgroup most likely to identify with the Democratic Party. An identical share of Indian Americans approved of Obama’s job performance in 2012.