By Nikhila Natarajan
New York, Oct 30 : Republican stronghold Texas has entered ‘pinch-me’ territory, becoming the latest addition to the toss-up column on America’s electoral map and sending chills through Planet Trump with just four days to go for election day in the United States.
“Biden’s path to 270 widens, Trump’s path narrows, as Texas moves to toss up,” screams a headline from Cook Political Report, a political forecaster.
“Texas might be turning purple,” Devesh Kapur, director of Asia programs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, told Foreign Policy magazine. “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.”
The Cook Report’s calculations go like this: “To win the election, Trump will need to win every state we currently have in the Toss Up column: Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Iowa, Ohio, Maine’s 2nd CD, as well as the newest addition, Texas.”
The Cook math says that even if Trump sweeps up all of those seven prizes, he’s still going to fall short of the magic number 270.
Texas was the chosen spot for the “Howdy Modi” blowout in 2019. Days before the United Nations General Assembly that year, Modi and Trump shared the stage in front of 50,000 cheering fans in a Houston football stadium.
Now, polls are showing that Indian Americans are “solidly” with the Democratic Party.
Texas accounts for 38 electoral votes in the path to the winning math of 270 electoral votes. A RealClearPolitics poll of polls puts Trump ahead by 2.3 points where most polls have a margin of error more than 3 points.
Trump is “slightly favoured” (66 per cent chance) to win Texas”, according to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight.
In 2012, Republican candidate Mitt Romney won Texas by ~16 percentage points. In 2016, Trump won the state by 9 points and now, the incumbent president’s numbers are in the under-5 points territory.
A 2020 ‘Indian American Attitudes Survey’ by YouGov, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Pennsylvania shows 72 per cent of registered Indian American voters plan to vote for Biden and 22 per cent are leaning Trump.
The study credits Harris’s vice presidential candidacy for revving up voter turnout in 2020. “On balance, while the Harris pick might not change large numbers of votes (given the community’s historic Democratic orientation), her candidacy is linked to greater enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket.”
Indian Americans comprise slightly more than 1 percent of the total US population-and less than 1 per cent of all registered voters.
Already, a record 8.5 million plus votes have been cast in Texas (by Oct 28) and more than 80 million nationwide – a record. As a percentage of total votes cast in 2016, the national total accounts for 58 per cent of total votes counted four years ago.