AIMING to woo the influential Indian-American voters numbering over two million, the Trump campaign has released a video commercial that has short clips from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and US President Donald Trump’s historic address in Ahmedabad.
Modi and Trump addressed a huge crowd in the capital city of Gujarat during the US president’s visit to India in February this year.
Trump was also accompanied by his wife Melania, daughter Ivanka, son-in-law Jared Kushner and top brass of his administration on his trip to India.
“America enjoys a great relationship with India and our campaign enjoys great support from Indian-Americans!” Kimberly Guilfoyle, national chair of Trump Victory Finance Committee said in a tweet releasing the video commercial.
The president’s son, Donald Trump Jr, who is leading the campaign and is well-connected with the Indian-American community, also retweeted it as the commercial soon became viral on social media with over 66,000 views on Twitter in the first few hours.
Titled “Four More Years” the 107-second video starts with the iconic footage of Modi and Trump walking hand in hand at the NRG Stadium in Houston during the prime minister’s visit to the US last year.
America enjoys a great relationship with India and our campaign enjoys great support from Indian Americans! 👍🏻🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/bkjh6HODev
— Kimberly Guilfoyle (@kimguilfoyle) August 22, 2020
Modi is highly popular among Indian-Americans. His addresses at the Madison Square Garden in 2015 and then in the Silicon Valley two years later had attracted over 20,000 people, making the prime minister perhaps the only foreign leader in recent memory to have addressed such huge rallies in the US.
His “Howdy Modi” address in Houston last September was attended by a record 50,000 people.
“America loves India. America respects India. And America will always be a faithful and loyal friend to the Indian people,” Trump says in the commercial in which he praises the contribution of four million Indian-Americans.
“They are truly spectacular people.”
The commercial — conceptualised by Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee co-chair Al Mason — was launched following a battleground states research that said Indian-Americans, who traditionally voted for the Democrats, were switching over to the Republican camp in significant numbers, thanks to the Trump-Modi bonhomie.
Overall, there are at least 2.5 million Indian-American voters. In the battleground states, Indian-Americans number about 1.3 million.
Mason’s survey, however, was conducted before former vice president Joe Biden, the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, selected Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris as his running mate, a move the Democrats believed would stem the flow of Indian-Americans towards the Republicans.
However, both Trump and his campaign have asserted that more Indian-Americans support them than the Democrats.
The Trump campaign believes that the Indian-Americans can play an important role in this election, especially in the battleground states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, where the two rival campaigns would be battling for every vote. It has also created separate coalitions for the Indian-Americans and Sikhs.
The rival Democratic campaign, too, is coming out with ideas and commercials to woo Indian-Americans. Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez has addressed the community virtually, wherein he has acknowledged the key role that the Indian-Americans can play in the battleground States.
On August 15, both Biden and Harris made a video address at an Indian-American event. The campaign also released a policy paper for Indian–Americans.
A day earlier, a Silicon Valley-based Indian-American political couple released a musical campaign video targeting Indian-Americans in the battleground states, urging them to vote for Biden and Harris.
Democratic supporters are planning to release at least two more Bollywood-style video commercials to attract the Indian-Americans, as the campaign heats up in the next 70-plus days.