US Elections Coverage 2020
I traveled across Pennsylvania in the weeks leading up to the elections, wrote a major print magazine feature for Bloomberg Businessweek, and covered the daily election twists for an Indian audience with the Indian Express.
The Trump-Modi relationship is one reason some Indian-Americans, especially men who are middle-aged or older and foreign-born, have boarded the Trump train—men such as Dinesh Agrawal, a materials researcher at Penn State who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. “Over the last four years, I’ve seen Trump have the strongest and most favorable relationship with India since India’s independence,” he says.
Memories still fresh from George Floyd protests, Americans are in suspense awaiting the impending election. Even though this year has seen the largest movement in the community towards the Republican Party, this summer also saw a surge of South Asian solidarity events, marches and talks in religious circles, classical music groups, student associations, and Bhangra teams. Social media was replete with posters describing “How to talk to your Papa about Black Lives Matter for Father’s Day” and “How to make old folks listen”.
DAILY REPORTS FROM THE FIELD:
America's two worlds, Red and Blue, collide in purple Pennsylvania's geography and demography. And the road to the White House passes through here. As both urban and rural areas deepened in their political colours, the target is their frontier: the suburbs.
Four miles away from each other and three hours apart, candidates Kamala Harris and Donald Trump were in two different worlds one day before the election. On Monday, the two campaigns held rallies in the same country, Luzerne, — one of the three counties in Pennsylvania that switched from blue to red in 2016.
“After the ’90s, I watched my street go from a mix of Italian and Irish to a mix of Italian, Irish, Mexican, and Indian,” said Jay Parini, whose mother used to babysit Biden in Scranton.
David Boujard, in Bethlehem where the smoke still billows out of the towering steel stacks but the furnace houses a casino instead, has almost his entire mail-in ballot completed. But the bubble under the "US President" remains blank. This final decision, from the 28-year-old entrepreneur, carries more importance than more other Americans.
Around the corner from Joe Biden's home — where the president-hopeful had spent the first half of the day waving at fans — fifteen Scranton locals saw the evening turn to night at Morganz Pub & Eatery as they sat in front of four television screens that gave them little information about who their next president would be.
Donald Trump began to court a new bloc, the Hindu American vote, in 2016. For the first time, the Democratic Party has taken a leaf out of the Republican playbook. With different generations and sections affiliating with Indian American, Hindu American, or South Asian, the coalitions have morphed over time.