Indian-American voters can turn the tide in key battleground states like Florida, Ohio and Colorado, and decide the fate of White House aspirants Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump who are in a dead-heat in major polls just days ahead of the election, community leaders say.
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Former chief of medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital and community leader Bhupi Patel asked the Indian-Americans to
vote for Clinton especially in Florida, Ohio, Colorado, saying the vote of the community in the red states (Republican
leaning) “is going to carry 30-40 per cent more weight”. Patel cited the famous 2000 presidential election between
Al Gore and George Bush that had stretched into December after recounting in Florida with Bush ultimately winning by a margin of just 537 votes.
“The Indian-American vote has value. If you can lose an election by 400-500 votes, then in places like Florida, the
30-40 per cent weight of the Indian-American vote will be important and both Democrats and Republicans will notice our value,” Patel said during a press conference.
Noting that 70 per cent of Indian-Americans are Democrats, he asked the community in the red states to vote for Clinton, especially in Ohio, Florida, Colorado. “Make sure you go and cast your vote, it is going to carry a lot of weight in these states,” Patel said.
Citing immigration, healthcare and education as issues of key importance to the Indian-American community, Patel said Clinton’s agenda in these areas will benefit the community and urged them to vote for her. Prominent hotelier and former commissioner in President Clinton’s White House Initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders Mike Patel, a Clinton supporter, said it took Al Gore only a few hundred votes to lose the elections in 2000 and “so the Indian-American cannot be complacent”.
“The Indian-American voters in Ohio, Florida have to come out and vote because these are the states that are needed to win the election,” Mike Patel said.
Bhupi Patel said the Indian-American community has to make its vote count since “it is very important for the community to be involved in the political process otherwise no one notices you. We are three million in number and are a very powerful community, contributing to the American fabric in a lot of ways. We must make our presence felt and we must exercise our voting rights”.