Indian Americans to play important role in shaping the nation’s trajectory: community leader

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With less than a year left before the US presidential elections, an eminent community leader and a major Democratic party fundraiser believes that Indian Americans would be playing an important role in shaping the nation’s future. Ajay Bhutoria, National Finance Committee member of the Democratic National Committee, told PTI in an interview that in many of the battleground states, Indian Americans could tilt the margin of victory in the November 5, 2024 race for the White House.

“This election is one of the most crucial elections. Asian-Americans, especially South Asian Americans, Indian Americans have a historic role to play in this election,” Bhutoria, who has been part of the Joe Biden campaign from the day one of his election run in the first term, said. “In many battleground states, if we talk about Michigan, if we talk about Nevada, if we talk about Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia, if we look at the data, we look at the Asian Americans and especially South Asian Americans, Indian Americans, they are the margin of victory in these States,” he said.

“If we get all the population of Asian Americans, Indian-Americans living out in the State, turnout and vote for Biden, they will ensure that the victory is there,” he said. “They did that same thing in the 2022 mid-term elections. They did that earlier in 2020. This time I am hoping that our Asian-Americans and Indian-Americans will participate, get involved in the election at the early stages,” he said. “One of the most important things is reaching out to voters in their languages. In 2020 I, along with many other thousands of volunteers, made sure that we reached out the Asian Americans in almost 19 languages, Hindi, Punjabi, Telugu, Tamil, and Chinese, and translated the campaign material and reached out. That had a huge effect, and we would be able to do that,” Bhutoria said.

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President Biden, a Democrat, has announced his candidacy while the Republican Party will be deciding its candidate in the coming months. Currently, former president Donald Trump is the front-runner. He said the Democratic Party under President Biden is having a big success in fundraising throughout the country. “I was in Los Angeles yesterday (December 9) where President Biden spoke about his vision for America and he talked about what would be the repercussions of what would look like day one of the Trump administration. So people are very enthusiastic and the fundraising is going great and there’s a huge participation we are raising for the general election while the Republican Party is busy fighting in the primary,” he said.

The Democratic Party is making grassroots investments in the battleground states. “And that is what I am talking about. Indian Americans getting involved in the early stages now to start organising, to start building teams in their cities and States so that they can connect with the voters and connect with the people and talk about the accomplishments of the Biden-Harris administration. The two Indian Americans – Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy – running for the Republican presidential elections primaries are unlikely to have much impact on the voting patterns of the community who have traditionally voted for the Democrats, he said.

“They are running in the primary and from what I see of the numbers, they’re not going to make it to the nomination. What the data indicates, the nomination could go to Trump. What Vivek says, or Nikki says, I disagree with almost 90 per cent or 95 per cent of it. I don’t think they make any sense or anything. “But it’s good to see the rise of Indian Americans in US politics overall. It’s good that more Indian Americans are getting in now,” he said, adding that in 2022, a large number of Democrat Indian Americans were elected across the country. “This is given that more and more Indian Americans are participating in the civic duties and politics and wanting to serve the country in various roles, which is a very matter of pride and greater for him,” Bhutoria said.

Indian Americans account for around 2.1 million or around 16 per cent of the 13.4 million Asian Americans eligible to vote and are the third largest Asian-origin population behind Chinese and Filipino Americans, The New York Times has reported previously. Pew Research data suggests that Indian Americans have tended to be more Democratic than any other Asian American subgroup.