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white house dreams
Rivals make last-gasp efforts in tight race

President Barack Obama (left) speaks at a campaign event in Cincinnati. US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are darting from one battleground state to the next in the final hours of their campaigns, seeking to draw stark contrasts from one another as polls found the two candidates in a neck-and-neck race for the White House.

WHO DARES WINS: President Barack Obama (left) speaks at a campaign event in Cincinnati. AFP

Six Indian-American candidates look to make history in US
Washington, November 5
Six Indian-Americans are in the race for a seat in the US House of Representatives, with the latest polls and mainstream media saying that three of them have bright chances of winning.


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white house dreams
Rivals make last-gasp efforts in tight race
Ashish Kumar Sen in Washington DC

Republican candidate Mitt Romney at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio.
WHO DARES WINS: Republican candidate Mitt Romney at a rally in Cleveland, Ohio. AFP

US President Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are darting from one battleground state to the next in the final hours of their campaigns, seeking to draw stark contrasts from one another as polls found the two candidates in a neck-and-neck race for the White House.

Early voting data showed Obama, a Democrat, with a slight edge over Romney, a Republican, in several key states.

US Presidents are not elected by the popular vote, but by the electoral college. Each state gets a certain number of electoral votes based on its population. A candidate must win 270 electoral votes to win the presidency. The US electoral map features blue states, or states that are solidly Democratic; red states, or states with a majority of Republican voters; and swing or battleground states, where candidates have to work to pick up enough electoral votes to make 270.

Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire are the battleground states that will be crucial to the outcome of this election. Both Obama and Romney have focused their energy, money and attention on these states over the past several months.

On Sunday, Obama campaigned with former President Bill Clinton in New Hampshire, and from there headed to Florida, Ohio and Colorado.

"It's not just a choice between two parties or candidates," Obama said at a rally in Hollywood, Florida. "It's a choice between two different visions of America. On the one hand, you can choose the return to the top-down policies that crashed our economy, or you can join me in building a future that focuses on a strong and growing middle class."

Obama was scheduled to be in Wisconsin and Iowa a day before polling day and then go back to Ohio. He will return to his home in Chicago for election day. Vice-President Joe Biden will campaign in Virginia before heading to his home in Delaware.

Romney, meanwhile, will campaign in Florida, Ohio, New Hampshire and Virginia a day before polling. He will hold a "victory rally" in Fairfax, Virginia, before returning to his home outside Boston for election day.

On Sunday, Romney campaigned in Pennsylvania and Virginia. "I know how to change the course this country is on," Romney told a crowd in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. "It's something I'm going to do as President of the United States. Two more days and we can get to work on rebuilding our country."

In Des Moines, Iowa, Romney took a dig at Obama's 2008 election platform of "change" telling supporters: "Do you want four more years like the last four years, or do you want real change? President Obama promised change, but he couldn't deliver it."

The candidates were not the only ones slugging it out in the states. Their lawyers have began filing a slew of lawsuits in the battleground states to ensure that all ballots are counted and no voters are disenfranchised.

The closeness of the polls showed every single vote will matter.

An ABC News/Washington Post survey on Sunday found support for Obama at 49 per cent compared to 48 per cent for Romney. 

Storm-wrecked New Yorkers may get extra day of voting

New York: For the first time, voters in some counties here may get an extra day to vote if disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy prevent enough people from showing up at the November 6 presidential polls, a state official has said. County election officials could ask the New York state Board of Elections to allow polls to reopen for another day if the turnout on Tuesday is less than 25 per cent, state board spokesman Thomas Connolly said. "To my knowledge this has never happened in New York," Connolly said. "Will the turnout be low? It's hard to say, probably, it all depends if people have other priorities." The state board would consider the request and, if approved, a second day of voting would be scheduled, he was quoted as saying by CNN.

American expats can play crucial role

Washington: Over 630 million American expats, who live in 160-plus nations, could play a crucial role in deciding whether Barack Obama remains in the White House or Mitt Romney replaces him in Presidential election. There have been many changes to the way Americans abroad, including civilians, military personnel and their dependents, can vote in US elections, and organisers trying to rally them to participate say, this year, those votes could count for a lot, CBS News reported. In 2008 Presidential election, Americans overseas were registered in the largest numbers in Texas, California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Georgia, and Washington.

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Six Indian-American candidates look to make history in US

Washington, November 5
Six Indian-Americans are in the race for a seat in the US House of Representatives, with the latest polls and mainstream media saying that three of them have bright chances of winning.

Elections will be held for all 435 seats, representing the 50 US states on November 6. The winners of this election cycle will serve in the 113th United States Congress.

Dr Ami Bera, the Democratic Party candidate from California's seventh Congressional District, is said to have the best chances to win the Congressional elections.

This week, the Washington Post put his seat on a "Lean Democrat" status, meaning that he is closer to victory than ever before. The independent Center for Politics at the University of Virginia had made a similar determination last week.

The New York Times, Roll Coll and Real Clear Politics have determined his seat as "Toss Up" meaning that it is a closely contested seat.

Pitted against incumbent Republican Dan Lungren, Bera has outraised his opponent. He raised more than $3 million as against Lungren's $2.3 million. The race for 7th Congressional District seat is one of the most costly campaigns in the nation, the CBS news reported.

Bera is followed by Republican young gun Ricky Gill, in the neighbouring California's ninth Congressional District. Gill who barely managed to turn 25 to file his nomination papers is trying to unseat three-term incumbent Democrat Jerry McNerney. He too has outraised his opponent by around half a million dollars.

Roll Coll, Cook Political and Real Clear Politics have declared Gill's seat as a "Toss Up", while according to The New York Times, The Washington Post and Center for Politics, the Ninth Congressional District of California is "leaned" towards his Democratic opponent.

Last month Roll Coll had said that Gill is all set to create an upset victory.

A weak Republican candidate in Michigan's 11th Congressional District has brightened the chances of Democratic Dr Syed Taj, who hails from Bihar and is the younger brother of Syed Shahbuddin.

Contesting for the second consecutive time from Pennsylvania's Sixth Congressional District, Iraq war veteran Dr Manan Trivedi of the Democratic Party has been given a "Lean Republican" status by The New York Times and Center for Politics and "Likely Republican" by Cook Politics and Real Clear Politics.

Democratic Upendra Chivukula's election campaign has been hit by the Hurricane Sandy that devastated his State of New Jersey, where he is the Deputy Assembly Speaker. His seat has been determined as "Lean Republican" by Real Clear politics.

Jack Uppal, the Democratic Party candidate from California's fourth Congressional District, is probably the weakest of the six Indian-American candidates in fray. PTI

vying for a seat in House of Representatives

  • Dr Ami Bera, the Democratic Party candidate from California's seventh Congressional District, is said to have the best chances to win the Congressional elections
  • Bera is followed by Republican young gun Ricky Gill, in the neighbouring California's ninth Congressional District
  • So far only two Indian-Americans have been elected to the US Congress. Dalip Singh Saund was the first Indian-American elected to the House of Representatives in 1950s, while Bobby Jindal, now the Louisiana Governor, was the second one.

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