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US Election 2024: Indian-American support for Biden drops sharply, minor gain for Trump

The decline in support for Biden among Indian-Americans was the largest in all Asian American ethnic communities in the US. Biden is currently in the midst of an escalating political crisis after his poor debate performance against Donald Trump on June 27.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Washington Published on: July 11, 2024 11:27 IST
Biden vs Trump
Image Source : REUTERS US President Joe Biden and his Republican rival Donald Trump

Washington: As the US presidential race heats up, a recent survey has found a sharp decline in Indian Americans supporting US President Joe Biden between the last election in 2020 and the upcoming elections in November. The bi-annual Asian American Voter Survey (AAVS) on Wednesday found that there has been a 19 per cent decline in Indian-American support for Biden, the largest among all Asian-American ethnic communities.

The survey was conducted by Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), AAPI Data, Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) and AARP. It reveals that 46 per cent of Indian Americans intend to vote for Biden against Trump in 2024 as compared to 65 per cent in 2020. However, this survey was conducted before the June 27 presidential debate.

What about Trump?

On the other hand, former President and presumptive Republican nominee for presidential candidate, Donald Trump, had a marginal gain in support among Indian Americans as the survey found that 31 per cent are likely to vote for him this year, an increase of one point since 2020. Trump has gained just 2 per cent in favourability rating despite the 19-point decline in Biden's support from Indian Americans.

Asian Americans have been a rapidly-growing group of eligible voters in the United States over the past two decades, growing by 15 per cent in the last four years alone and turning out in record numbers in every federal election since 2016. The Indian community has a sizeable presence in many battleground states and was key to Biden's victory in 2020.

According to the survey, Biden has 55 per cent favourability rating among Indian Americans, while Trump has a favourability rating of 35 per cent. Both have the same unfavourability rating of 42 per cent in the Indian community. Additionally, Vice President Kamala Harris, who is of Indian heritage and is discussed as Biden's replacement as presidential candidate, has  a favourability rating of 54 per cent and an unfavourability rating of 38 per cent.

"Asian Americans are rapidly diversifying the American electorate and it is critical for us to update our understanding of what motivates them and informs their voting choices," said Karthick Ramakrishnan, executive director of AAPI Data. "We see ongoing evidence of dynamism within the Asian-American electorate, including on matters pertaining to presidential vote choice and party preferences on key issues ranging from inflation to healthcare and immigration."

Biden vs Trump

The stakes of this year's presidential elections are monumental as they decide the future direction of the country at a time when the world is beset with two wars in Ukraine and Gaza, a resurgent Russia and China and other geopolitical challenges. Biden, 81, and Trump, 77, have both faced concerns over their memory and old age, although Biden's repeated gaffes and blunders have intensified concerns over his mental health.

While Biden pledges to defend democracy by maintaining civil liberties on topics like abortion, many liberals remain frustrated by his support for Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, leading to a minority of Democrats to vote "uncommitted" in some states. Trump, meanwhile, has promised to change the status quo and re-introduce tighter curbs on immigration policies, while addressing the failures of the previous administration.

Biden's re-election chances suffered a crisis after his poor performance in the June 27 debate against Trump, which spooked Democrats into finding a replacement candidate and fuelled concerns that he may not be up for the job at 81. Senator Peter Welch and nine Democrat Representatives have openly called for Biden to end his re-election bid and allow someone else to compete.

Hollywood star George Clooney, one of the top fundraisers for the Democratic presidential candidate, withdrew his support saying the Democrats cannot win the presidency with him. Clooney said in an opinion piece that the 81-year-old President should drop out as he was not the same man he was in 2020. 

(with inputs from agency)

ALSO READ | US: Biden's re-election crisis deepens as actor George Clooney withdraws support, Pelosi raises doubts


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