In an impressive show, all the four Indian-American Democratic lawmakers — Dr Ami Bera, Pramila Jayapal, Ro Khanna and Raja Krishnamoorthi — have been re-elected to the US House of Representatives.
The Indian-American community has emerged as a force to reckon with for the first time in the history of the US presidential election. Both the Democrat and the Republican campaigns had initiated several measures to woo the approximately 1.8 million members of the community who have emerged as a critical voting bloc in the battleground states of Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
The so-called ‘Samosa caucus’, a termed coined by Krishnamoorthi for informal grouping of Indian-American lawmakers, might expand with at least one more as physician Dr Hiral Tipirneni was leading against Republican incumbent David Schweikert from the sixth Congressional district of Arizona when last reports came in.
If elected, Tipirneni, 52, would be the second ever Indian-American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives. Jayapal, 55, was the first Indian-American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives in 2016.
The ‘Samosa caucus’ currently comprises five Indian-American lawmakers, including the four members of the House of Representatives and Senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris, 56.
Krishnamoorthi, 47, easily defeated Preston Nelson, 30, of the Libertarian Party. When last reports came in, he had accounted for nearly 71% of the total votes counted.
Ro Khanna, 44, defeated fellow Indian-American Ritesh Tandon, 48, of the Republican Party with a margin of more than 50 percentage points. This was his third-consecutive win from the 17th Congressional district of California.
Dr Ami Bera, 55, the senior most member of the ‘Samosa Caucus’, won the seventh Congressional District of California for the fifth consecutive term. When the last report came in, he had established an inaccessible lead by more than 25 percentage points against his Republican rival 65-year-old Buzz Patterson.
Sri Preston Kulkarni, 42, was giving a tough fight to GOP’s Troy Nehls, 52, from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas. He was trailing by five percentage points when reports last came in.
Republican Manga Anantatmula lost to Democratic incumbent Gerry Connolly in the 11th Congressional District of Virginia. Republican Nisha Sharma from the Republican Party also lost her maiden Congressional attempt. She was defeated by incumbent Mark DeSaulnier from the Democratic Party by more than 50 percentage points. (PTI)
Philadelphia: Protesters took to the streets and bands of looters broke into businesses for a second night Tuesday after officers in Philadelphia shot and killed a Black man who was holding a knife in an encounter that city officials say raises questions.
One group marched peacefully for much of the night, chanting Walter Wallace Jr.’s name and saying, “Whose streets? Our streets.” But the protest turned violent near a police precinct when the large crowd encountered a handful of officers. Several people in the crowd threw rocks, light bulbs, or bricks at the police. One officer was injured, according to a CNN crew at the scene.
There was looting by other groups of people in another part of the city, according to a police tweet and video from a CNN affiliate’s helicopter.
Aerial pictures from affiliate KYW showed people looting a Foot Locker and others emerging from a Walmart with televisions and other items.
New York: Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan was vilified on social media for critical comments about Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.
In between analyzing the second debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, Noonan pointed to Senator Harris’s “giddy” nature on the campaign trail. She was critical of her behavior, writing she comes off as “insubstantial” and “frivolous.” Dancing by the Senator, Noonan added, was “embarrassing.”
Noonan was particularly referring to the Indian American Senator’s impromptu dance last Monday at a campaign event in Jacksonville, FL, when it started raining.
And Noonan had it on social media. She is condemning Harris because white supremacy means that black women such as the senator should be “quiet, subservient and obedient,” one person wrote. Pointing to a video showing President Trump himself awkwardly dancing on stage at a recent rally, another commentator wondered why that wasn’t also “insubstantial” and “frivolous.”
Most of the comments about the article itself were equally damning, with Noonan described as “a feckless tool.” Another questioned the point of the 1,200-word piece, noting that while Harris was dancing on the campaign trail, the president was dancing on people’s graves during the pandemic.Read More
Melania directly attacked Joe Biden, claiming: “Now he suggests that he could have done a better job. Well, the American people can look at Joe Biden’s 36 years in Congress and eight years in the vice presidency and determine whether they think he’ll finally be able to get something done for the American people.”
The first lady also spoke about her family’s struggle with the virus and demonstrated compassion for those suffering the virus — something rarely done by President Trump in rallies.
“Like many of you, I have experienced the firsthand effects of Covid-19 — not only as a patient — but as a worried mother and wife. I know there are many people who have lost loved ones or know people who have been forever impacted by this silent enemy,” Melania Trump said in Pennsylvania.
Her first solo campaign appearance comes with just one week to go before the election. Her up-to-now campaign trail absence has marked a historic break from precedent, especially in a race that finds her husband fighting for votes, reports CNN.Read More
New York: More than 64 million Americans have already voted — and about half of them are in the dozen or so contested states that will ultimately decide who wins the Electoral College and the election. An analysis by The New York Times showed that out of the total early votes cast by October 26, 31 million were in battleground states, and 24 million in likely Biden win states, and only 9.2 million in likely Trump win states.
Even more significant, early votes in these battlegrounds account for more than half of those states’ total votes in 2016. Nationally, voters have already cast about 46 percent of the total vote counted in 2016, according to the United States Elections Project.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, many states had changed voting rules, allowing millions to vote by mail for the first time, and many others have voted in person early to avoid an anticipated crush of voters on Election Day. Voter enthusiasm for and against President Trump has also fueled record-level early turnout across the country.
Democrats appear much more eager about early voting. In the five battleground states that report party registration, nearly two million more registered Democrats have voted than Republicans so far.
In Pennsylvania — a state Mr. Trump narrowly won in 2016 — more than three times as many Democrats have voted than Republicans. The party breakdown is more even in Florida and North Carolina.Read More
Washington: Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, echoed some of Cahaly’s points about shy Trump voters being missed by pollsters. “There is definitely a submerged Trump vote,” Lee said. Asked for a prediction, he hedged a little but then predicted a Trump win: “I can’t call it. If the turnout is going to be what I think, Trump wins it.”
Lee goes further than some other analysts in suggesting that pollsters may be deliberately overstating the strength of Democratic candidates to dampen Republican turnout, which amounts to voter suppression, reports National Review.
Lee calls attention to what he describes as “garbage polls” showing a double-digit lead for Joe Biden in the past few weeks in Pennsylvania. He sees this as a replay of 2016 and adds, “I called on the American Association of Public Opinion Research to crack down on egregious polling to tighten standards for firms that clearly don’t understand the landscape of Pennsylvania.”
The final Susquehanna poll of Pennsylvania in 2016 showed the race a statistical dead heat, with Hillary Clinton winning by two points, within the margin of error.
Lee elaborates that Pennsylvania could go either way: “The polls are not moving. We have the race in Pennsylvania within two points in the September poll and other firms showing a margin of error that the race is tied, it’s been tied all along in our estimation.” He adds, “I don’t see this as a blue wave” and foresees a very close race in the Electoral College. He endorses some of the arguments made by Cahaly about the nature of people who don’t want to express what may be perceived as socially unacceptable views, even to a pollster on the phone.