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Oct 29, 2008 at 05:50pm IST

Indians in US want Obama post Wall St crash

New York: In 1992, Bill Clinton used the phrase, "It's the economy, stupid", to defeat then incumbent President George HW Bush. That phrase may as well be used in 2008 by Democrat Barack Obama because the economy has become the dominant issue in this election year as well.

And while Democrats are often seen as anti-free trade, Obama appears to have also won over leading economists.

Economist, Jagdish Bhagwati says, "Obama, by all accounts, is very sensible on economics. He's looking at the necessity for change because we do need change because the modern economy is very different from several accounts - there's intensified international competition which leads to vulnerability in jobs and then we do have a great deal of technical change going on, laying off people, entire assembly lines are disappearing."

Other Indians in America are also feeling the impact of the turmoil on Wall Street. Many are owners of small businesses and they appear to prefer Obama's plans over those of his Republican rival, John McCain.

Owner Rajbhog Sweets at Jackson Heights, Nirav Shah says, "His plans are cutting taxes. He's looking at an average middle-class, at an average individual, compared to a bigger picture. He's looking at an average individual. We being small business owners as well as the middle-class society in which everyone needs a helping hand right now, I think should work out better with his viewpoints right now."

It seems that's a position the majority of the community concurs with during this period of economic uncertainty in America.

Indian-Americans have traditionally been Democrats and now with the US economy appearing to be headed towards a recession, Barack Obama could well reap the benefit with a larger turnout and larger share of the vote from the community.


If the US was to have it's elections today, Barack Obama would win according to the numbers in CNN's latest average of national polls.

The Democrat presidential candidate is still leading by 8 points, 53 per cent to 41 per cent for McCain. But there are three hot states to watch out for. Analysts say these provide a window into the November 4 election.

Ohio has 20 electoral votes at stake, and polls show Obama and McCain in a tight race. McCain now trails by just six points, down from 12 on Monday.

Dramatic changes have been seen in the Sunshine state of Florida as well, where that gap is shrinking. Obama takes 49 per cent and McCain has 45 per cent.

North Carolina is the third state to watch out for. The margin here is 8 points, favouring Barack Obama.