Polls open in US; Democrats and Obama fear defeat
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Last Updated: Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 20:59
Washington: US President and his Democratic party feared a rout in the House of Representatives, as Americans, frustrated with continued job loss and economic woes, came out to vote in the mid-term polls, seen as a referendum on the policies of Barack Obama.

All the 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grab, while Republicans and Democrats are keenly contesting for 37 of the 100 Senate seats.

Elections are also being held for 37 State Governors, besides a large number of State and local elections.

For the first time, a record six Indian-Americans are in the fray, besides quite a number of them for other local and State elections.

However, for the Indian Americans all eye are on Nikki Randhawa Haley, daughter of Sikh immigrants from Punjab. If the latest opinion polls are of any indication, chances are bright for her.

Haley might create history by becoming the first woman governor of South Carolina and only the second Indian American Governor after Bobby Piyush Jindal of Louisiana.

The six Indian Americans running for House of Representatives are having a fight. Interestingly five of them are Democrats - Manan Trivedi from Pennsylvania, Ami Bera from California, Raj Goyle from Kansas, Ravi Sangisetty from Louisiana and Surya Yalamanchili from Ohio.

Ashvin Lad from Illinois is the only Republican Indian American in fray. But it is not clear yet, who would become only the third Indian American ever to enter the US Congress after Dilip Singh Saundh and Bobby Piyush Jindal.

Trivedi, Bera and Goyle are said to have some chance if any, if the poll reports are of any indication. Latest opinion polls said that Republicans are heading for a massive victory in this mid-term election as people are apparently not satisfied with the economic policies of the Obama Administration.

The opposition Republican Party needs 39 seats to regain majority in the House of Representatives. It also needs to get an additional 10 Senate seats to get Senate majority.

Obama who had been campaigning aggressively across the country for the past few week went on radio talk shows on the election day, urging people to come out and vote in large numbers. He voted in absentia.

The Vice-President Joe Biden voted in Wilmington. "Unemployment -- at a rate of 9.6 per cent amid a slow recovery from economic recession -- has been the dominant issue, with Republicans accusing Obama and the Democrats of pushing through expensive policies that have expanded government without solving the problem," the CNN said.

The Washington Post said, 2010 election will be remembered for the thousands of negative ads aired by candidates and outside groups, many which are not required to report the names of their contributors, and for spending up to USD 4 billion, according to some estimates.

Beyond the individual results, The New York Times said the nation will be looking at the returns for answers to bigger questions.

"Was this election about President Obama? How powerful a phenomenon is the Tea Party movement? How will the new Congress address the still-weak economy? What will it mean for the crop of likely 2012 Republican presidential candidates? Did anonymous campaign money sway the outcome?" the daily said.


First Published: Tuesday, November 02, 2010, 20:59

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