Though they’re now two of the most prominent Indian Americans in politics, Republican presidential candidates Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy are still largely unknown to Asian Americans, according to a new survey.
The poll conducted by AAPI Data and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that only 18% and 23% of Asian American and Pacific Islander adults have a favorable view of Ramaswamy and Haley, respectively. Thirty-six percent view each of them unfavorably. But the plurality of people surveyed said they didn’t know enough about the candidates to give an opinion, including 40% for Haley and 46% for Ramaswamy.
Out of all the candidates in the Republican field, former President Donald Trump has the most favorability among AAPIs, though just 27%. Trump also has the highest percentage of AAPIs who said they hold an unfavorable opinion of him, at 70%.
Sixty-two percent of Asian American voters either identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared to 34% who lean toward the Republican Party, according to a May report by the Pew Research Center. Indian Americans are among the most strongly Democrat at 68%, and Vietnamese Americans are the most Republican at 51%.
The AAPI Data-AP-NORC poll found that 52% of AAPI adults have a favorable view of President Joe Biden and 47% have a favorable view of Vice President Kamala Harris.
For Haley and Ramaswamy, this means most of their positions are opposed to where the majority of the community stands, experts said.
“Nikki Haley and Vivek Ramaswamy stand very far to the right of where most Asian American voters are and where most Indian American voters are,” Karthick Ramakrishnan, founder of nonprofit group AAPI Data, told NBC News in September. “It’s highly unlikely that an Asian American Democrat is going to cross the aisle and vote for an Asian American Republican candidate.”