Polls open in US; Democrats and Obama fear defeat

US Prez and his Democratic party feared a rout in the House of Representatives in the mid-term polls.

Updated: Nov 02, 2010, 20:59 PM IST

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

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.