‘Indian Americans could be critical to US presidential poll’

September 4th, 2008 - 8:04 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 4 (IANS) Indian American voters see themselves more closely aligned with Democrats on a range of economic, cultural and international issues, very far from the Republicans, and may play a critical role in the presidential poll this November, a new study has found.The study of a focus group of likely Indian American voters conducted in Northern Virginia this summer found the participants deeply troubled by the US’ direction after eight years of President George W. Bush, placing great hope in Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate.

The first opinion research into the political attitudes and values of the rapidly growing Indian American population, conducted by the Campaign for America’s Future, found Indian Americans to be more progressive and democratic than other Americans of comparable backgrounds.

In a memorandum released to community and political leaders that outlines the study’s findings, Campaign for America’s Future communications director Toby Chaudhuri said the results of the study suggest enormous opportunities to engage Indian Americans for support with progressive and Democratic battles.

“These Indian Americans clearly saw Barack Obama as a candidate who shares their values, has the right priorities for turning around our troubled economy and as the best possible leader to re-establish our standing in the world,” said Chaudhuri, according to a press release Tuesday.

“Participants in the focus group were deeply troubled by where they saw the country headed after eight years of President Bush, placing great hope in Barack Obama, who they see as a jolt of fresh air,” he added.

Participants in the focus group were found knowledgeable about issues unique to the Indian American community, but those issues were not their priorities. Further, their attitudes toward core issues like America’s direction, the economy, the war in Iraq and energy policy, were virtually indistinguishable from other progressive-leaning Americans.

The focus group of Indian Americans is the first of a potentially broader research project by the Campaign for America’s Future, which describes itself as “the strategy centre for the progressive movement” and describes its goal as “forging the enduring progressive majority needed to realise the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be”.

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