Beyond the major headlines surrounding the U.S. presidential election, a little-noticed development is attracting attention both in India and among American campaign strategists. The rising influence of the Indian American community in the United States — though barely 1% of the electorate — has made it impossible for the world’s oldest democracy to ignore the world’s largest.

Indian Americans are the second-largest immigrant group in the U.S., and among the fastest-growing — up by nearly 150% over the last decade. They also are more affluent and highly educated than any other ethnic group, with a median income nearly double the national average (estimated at $100,000 in 2015). And they have been remarkably active politically, as voters, campaigners, donors, and candidates. In the past two decades, two state governors, one U.S. senator, five members of the House of Representatives, and now a vice presidential candidate have been Americans of Indian descent.

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