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With the less than week left for the judgment day, each side bring different kind poll numbers that make them look good in front of their supporters. Polls are merely indication to pacify the people, however the results might be completely opposite.
Four years, no one would have thought the traditionally red state Texas could be in the toss-up column. But pollsters see President Donald Trump and his rival Joe Biden in a dead heat.
In fact, the reason for this close run could be the growing community of 160,000 Indian American voters who are waving the blue flag.
“Texas might be turning purple,” said Devesh Kapur, the director of Asia programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. “You see in that area there are a lot of Asian Americans, not just Indian Americans but other Asian Americans. That’s the group that will make or break it.”
With less than 2% of US population, the influence of the Indian American community has truly become a storm. Very few immigrant groups have had such powers to influence the U.S. electorate.
Around two-thirds of Indian Americans came to the United States in the past 20 years—a higher rate than any immigrant community other than Mexican Americans. The Indian American community is by no means a monolith, but polls show a majority are leaning blue.
While Trump might be hounding on his ‘friendly’ relationship with India and with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that fact seems to make a little dent to the Indian Americans.
Political action groups are picking up on the trend and mobilizing in Texas on an unprecedented scale.
“Where we’re spending the vast majority of our time, our energy is in Texas,” said Varun Nikore, the president of the AAPI Victory Fund, a progressive super PAC focused on mobilizing Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters.
That could be a problem for the Republican Party going forward, whether or not Trump wins on Tuesday. Indian Americans have also emerged as more powerful than other immigrant voting blocs.
In the 2020 Democratic primary season, Indian Americans, many in Silicon Valley, gave more to campaigns than all of Hollywood.
Texas is still a long way off from being a solid blue bastion for Democrats, but the trendlines are hard to ignore.
In 2012, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney won Texas by about 16 percentage points. In 2016, Trump won the state and its 38 electoral votes (minus two defections) by 9 points. The latest polls show that Trump’s advantage in Texas has whittled down to 4 points ahead of Biden, and the nonpartisan Cook Political Report officially moved the state to a “toss-up” on Wednesday.
Democrats are surely closing in very quick.
The dynamic is playing out in the Houston suburbs, where the Indian American ex-foreign service officer Sri Preston Kulkarni has thrown his hat into the ring to flip Texas’s 22nd Congressional District to the Democrats.
There are a handful of local and national left-leaning voter groups mobilized in the area, such as South Asian American Voter Empowerment Texas. Prominent Indian American conservatives have risen to top jobs in U.S. politics too, such as recent U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, but they are Christian, unlike more recent immigrants who are practicing Sikhs, Muslims, and Hindus.
If a state like Texas can be shaken up, the Republicans are in dire need of a change in their strategy.