ibnlive » Chat

4.30 pm, Nov 6 Nov 06, 2012

US presidential elections: the likely outcome

Gautam Adhikari will take your questions on the US presidential elections.
8 questions answered
  • Which of the two presidential candiadte will be good for India? and who is likely to win accounding to ground zero reportts available with you? Asked by: Prof. Anil Gor
  • Gautam Adhikari India has not figured at all in the presidential campaign thus far of either candidate. As of now, President Obama is slightly ahead in opinion polls and may win. In the past four years, barring the initial few months, his administration has had a close cooperative relationship with India, especially in intelligence sharing, fighting terrorism, and military exercises, while trade between the two nations has expanded greatly. Mr Romney's foreign policy positions are not clear and his views on the India relationship are not known. So, a continuation of Obama might be fine for India.
  • Yesterday I was listening to Arif Zakaria on this channel (CNN and IBN)that voter turn out could impact the outcome. He opined that Obama baiters are more passionate than the people who favor him. So inclement weather for eg, could spoil the day for the President. Is this an opinion only or is this the situation on the ground Asked by: Narayan
  • Gautam Adhikari Yes, in a close race voter turnout would be important. Because thye are allowed to vote early, i.e. before election day, some 30 percent of Americans have already voted. Long lines were visible in various contested state over the last two or three days. There is talk of attempts at voter suppression (of mainly Obama supporters among minorities) through various means in Florida and Ohio but this may not be a serious factor if the lead for whoever wins is comfortable.
  • I read in one of recent issue of the Economist that, both Obama and Romney are tied. However Bill Clinton has a huge following. Will Clinton campaining for Obama favour the latter and Democrats in anyway Asked by: Narayan
  • Gautam Adhikari Obama and Romney were tied until a couple of days ago. However, the last opinion poll I saw -- by ABC News and Washington Post -- had Obama ahead 50-47 percent, which is till within the margin of error but may be enough to see Obama through tonight. Clinton's campaigning, especially from the Democratic party's convention, has certainly helped because he remains hugely popular.
  • Would republican party help in easing out some of the visa concerns for India? Asked by: gopal
  • Gautam Adhikari Visa concerns will be addressed by both parties in the US Congress, where there is an India Caucus trying to push the administration, whoever might be in power. But getting a US visa, particularly the H1 type, will remain difficult for a while because of reduced quotas.
  • Will Obama also contest for the next term? Asked by: Indian
  • Gautam Adhikari No president can any longer be in power for more than two terms. Tht is by Constitutional amendment after F D Roosevelt exercised power for four terms from 1933 on.
  • Does Obama have plans to improve teh economy of the US. So far the feeling has been that it has not worked enough on the ground, though there were other factors that have impacted. A buzzing US economy is always good for India, hence my question. Your views pls Asked by: Narayan
  • Gautam Adhikari The US economy is already improving. The speed of recovery is likely to pick up whoever might be the President. Unemployment has begun to decline, consumer confidence and spending are up, the stock market is double what it was when Obama took office. Unless there is an external crisis, like a European zone financial collapse, the US economy will be up and running fast by the latter half of next year.
  • What are the lessons for India from the Election process in USA? Asked by: gopal
  • Gautam Adhikari India has a parliamentary system, the US a presidential one. Still, some lessons, negative and positive, can be drawn. The primary selection process, for example, ensures inner party democracy openly here; in India we have candidates nominated by party high commands. Then the debate process is good for the voters, though this time it was seen by many as too long during the primaries. But the influenece of big money in the campaigns has been growing over the years in the US and this year it reached record proportions. In India, we could have a more open system of who is giving money, how much and to which party, as it was here until recently, though this time some of that transparency was missing because of a change in law supported by the US Supreme Court.
  • A very bitterly fought elections , will the scars of the elections be healed or remain festered ? I maen is Polarisation is forever or because of Obama ? Asked by: sundar
  • Gautam Adhikari Yes, the fight was bitter. But the US is very sharply divided over ideology in social matters and approach to government and taxes. If the House of Representatives remains under Republican control, the Senate under the Democrats, as is expected tonight, the differences will continue to generate difficulties for the person occupying the White House as they have during Obama's administration thus far. That said, yes, Obama, an African-American being in power has agitated a sizable section of white voters and their Republican representatives much more than was the case with earlier presidents.

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Gautam Adhikari
Senior journalist and analyst