Indian American registered voters, who are historically known to be Democrats, are overwhelmingly Democratic, with 70% of them supporting Hillary Clinton, according to a new National Asian American Survey (NAAS).
In its October 5th report, the survey found only 7% Indian American voters are likely to vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. This was the lowest support Trump got amongst Asian communities. While the Hmong community also had the same 7% support for Trump, 25% Filipinos, 20% Japanese, 16% Cambodians and Vietnamese said they would vote Trump. At 11%, even the Chinese had more likely Trump voters than Indians.
Indian American community led both the 2012 and the 2016 polls with overwhelming support for Democrats. While in 2012 it was 68% Democratic, with only 10% shown as Republicans, in 2016, 71% registered voters are seen as Democrats vs. 13% as Republicans, for a net gain of one percent.
A whopping 79% Indian Americans view Trump unfavorably, with 67% viewing him very unfavorably, the survey found. The NAAS sampled 2,238 Asian-Americans and 305 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump reached out to Indian American voters at an Edison, New Jersey rally on October 15 organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition, promising India would always have a friend in the White House if he is elected.
“India is a strategic ally for the U.S. I look forward to deepening the diplomatic and military cooperation that is shared between both countries,” said the candidate, addressing a crowd of 8,000 people at the “Humanity United Against Terrorism” rally, held at the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.
“India has been a great friend to the U.S. in the fight against radical Islamic terrorism,” said Trump, noting that President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have not used the phrase.
“India has seen first-hand the brutality of Islamic terrorism,” he said, uttering his first political gaffe of the 13-minute long speech by confusing the 2001 terrorist attack on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi with the 2008 terror attack in Mumbai, in which ten young militants arriving by sea from Pakistan killed 167 people at several venues throughout the city. “I love Hindu. I love India,” was Trump’s second gaffe of the evening, when he seemingly declared “Hindu” as a country.
In the aftermath of the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released a report calling on the party to do a better job connecting with minority populations. The RNC hired a national field director, Stephen Fong, and a national communications director, Jason Chung, to conduct outreach to Asian-American voters. Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of the NAAS, said in an interview that the GOP was “trying to project this image of the Republican Party that was more open, that is more tolerant, that is trying to do significant outreach to the community.”