Asian-Americans now cause of victory and not the margin of victory in US politics, says Indian-American political activist
Asian-Americans, which includes the Indian community as well, are now the "cause of victory" in US politics and just no longer the "margin of victory", according to an Indian-American political activist.
About the Asian-American community, it is normally believed that "we are the margin of victory, which means that in a close race this vote by swinging 10 points one way or the other, can make the difference in an election," said Shekhar Narasimhan, an Indian-American entrepreneur, community leader and political activist.
"I've completely refuted that. Now I think we are the cause of victory," Narasimhan told PTI, citing the example of the recent victory of Senator Raphael Warnock from the Democratic Party in Atlanta.
In the Warnock race in Senate, of the 99,000 votes, he finally won the runoff with 34,000 votes from the AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islanders) community that weren't cast during the midterms, said Narasimhan, who heads the AAPI Victory Fund - a Political Action Committee that focuses on mobilising AAPI eligible voters and supports Democrat AAPI candidates.
"We (AAPI Victory Fund) had a lot to do with delivering those votes...A swing of 68,000 votes in that election could have changed the dynamic of that election completely. It wasn't just the overwhelming black vote and the strong vote he got from the Atlanta suburbs. It was the Asian-American vote. They agree. I don't think he could have won without us," Narasimhan said, adding that this is the case when the community is four per cent of the voting population in Atlanta.
He noted that the same is the case with other swing States in the country. In Pennsylvania, the AAPI community is four per cent, and in Michigan five per cent. In Arizona, while it is just two per cent, in a race, which is decided by 10,000 votes, this makes the difference.
In Nevada, where AAPI has 12 per cent of Asian-American votes, the community plays a decisive role. The community makes a significant impact in Wisconsin, another battleground State.
In North Carolina, where the community has grown pretty fast, Asian-Americans would play a decisive role in the victory of a candidate.
"I think we could swing North Carolina because of the Asian American vote, and that's gonna be one of our major priorities. We can, we will certainly work in the other states and make sure that we are mobilising and doing the job with the campaign. But North Carolina, to me, is a place we could really spend some time focusing on and make a big difference," he said.
Responding to a question, Narasimhan said it would be easier to convince Asian Americans if the 2024 race ends up between President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump.
It would be tough if Biden faces a new opponent and even tougher if his opponent ends up being an Indian-American like Nikki Haley, who last month announced her entry into the 2024 race from the Republican party, he said.
Noting that AAPI Victory Fund would definitely look into the various policies of Haley if she was to be the GOP nominee, Narasimhan said "good chances" are that they would end up supporting and endorsing Biden in the 2024 race. "She is a very orthodox conservative Republican," he said.
Narasimhan has been a long-time Democratic party supporter and fundraiser.
"We are open to, if a AAPI woman can become president and it's not Kamala Harris in the near term, then why would we not at least consider it? We should think about that. But at the end of the day, if the value systems are not matched, and if the theory of life that she has is fundamentally different, which she is governed like that in the past, then we will opt to not only support Biden, but also quite frankly, talk to our community about why she may be the wrong candidate," Narasimhan said.
"So, there is work to be done depending upon the circumstances, but there's a good chance that we will be supporting Biden relatively early, and if another AAPI candidate is in the race while we evaluate it, there's a good chance we'll be on the opposite opposing side of it, rather than on the pro-side," he said.
''I'm very pleased that people who have names like Nikki, Jindal and Ramaswamy can run. That means somebody's going to learn to pronounce Narasimhan also. So, there's a fundamental feeling in my bones that says, this is mainstreaming. This is showing, like you have CEOs of Fortune 50 companies, like you have professors and deans and presidents of universities. It's a marker. It says progress is being made. We are mainstreaming. So, a very fundamentally good thing," he said.
"Where I'm ambivalent is I find that as some of these candidates have chosen, frankly, not to endorse their own heritage, or if they've got to it, they've got to it pretty late. I believe as an example that Nikki Haley had not been to India. If she had ever been, it was once. And the first time she went was when she was US Ambassador," he noted.
"I'm very pleased she went to India. But how can you say, I'm Indian-American and you've never been to India. Even my son who was born and brought up in this country has been to India 10 times. I make the point that if you do sort of, don't even acknowledge your own heritage, heritage involves not just going around saying, you know, here are my parents. They see the picture. They are different from ordinary Americans. I think that's good. But it goes back to my first point. But, and then more importantly, what are the value systems?" he said, adding that those are quite different.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
'Killers of Flower Moon' star says Native Americans need allies like Scorsese
Indian Americans to welcome PM Modi with unity march in 20 cities on June 18
Mexico to announce work visa program for Central Americans
White House: Americans should stand against banning books
With butterflies and candles, Americans remember Uvalde's tragedy