Battle of the Indian-Americans could mean more soft power for India

Two prominent Indian-American politicians have recently thrown their hats into the ring of Republican candidates, aiming to secure the position of the US President in the 2024 election.

  • Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and a former US ambassador to the United Nations.
  • Vivek Ramaswamy, a millionaire entrepreneur and renowned commentator.

Moreover, Democrat Kamala Harris, the current Vice President of the United States, of Indian and Jamaican descent may soon join in.

Historically, Indian-Americans have leaned towards the Democratic Party. In a 2020 survey, 72% of registered Indian-Americans indicated their intent to vote for Joe Biden, while 22% favored Donald Trump.

However, the entrance of these Indian-American candidates into the Republican primary race has the potential to reshape the community’s political allegiance in the upcoming 2024 elections.

While it’s not the first time that individuals with Indian-American heritage have run for the presidency, with Bobby Jindal and Kamala Harris trying their hand at it, it is noteworthy that Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy are the first two Indian-Americans to share the same primary debate platform. This historic event occurred in Milwaukee on August 23, 2023.

Other Indian-American politicians include Shri Thanedar, Ami Bera, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal, Thomas Abraham, Kiran Ahuja, Dimple Ajmera, Abbas Akhil, Saqib Ali, Arif Alikhan, Vishal Amin and Harry Anand.

In the 2022 midterm elections, four Indian-American politicians from the Democratic Party were elected to the US House of Representatives. Five Indian-American politicians were elected to the US House.

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