One group whose support President Obama can apparently take for granted is Indian-Americans. But why?
As we enter the home stretch of the presidential election, one group whose support President Barack Obama can apparently take for granted is Indian-Americans. According to a recent Pew Research Center, 65 percent of the 2.85 million-strong community self-identifies as Democratic or Democratic-leaning. Fewer than one in five see themselves as Republicans. In 2008, a whopping 84 percent of Indian-Americans voted for Obama, one of the highest proportions of any ethnic group in America.
For those accustomed to viewing politics through the prism of race—with non-white minorities expected to line up robotically behind Democrats—this may not seem surprising. In fact, it's utterly illogical. Interests, values, and history all suggest that the natural political home for Indian-Americans is the GOP. With a little effort and the right arguments, the Romney-Ryan campaign ought to be able to make inroads into a community that, though still relatively small in absolute numbers, represents the fastest-growing segment of America's fast-growing Asian-American population.
To begin with, the Indian-American experience is proof, if any were needed, that America remains a land of opportunity. For all intents and purposes, the community is less than 50 years old—Indians began migrating to the United States in significant numbers only after itto non-Europeans in 1965—but it has already carved out space for itself at the heart of American life. Look no further than businesspersons Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo or Vikram Pandit of Citigroup, writers Jhumpa Lahiri or Atul Gawande, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Sabeer Bhatia and Romesh Wadhwani, or comedians Mindy Kaling and Aziz Ansari. In short, contrary to what the Left suggests, America rewards hard work and talent.
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Sadanand Dhume is a resident fellow at the . Follow him on Twitter at @dhume01.