What Obama Wants For Minority Groups In America

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Barack Obama has so far done a good job of preventing himself being labeled as the “Black Candidate.” His appeal has extended to Asian Americans, Latinos, and urban-dwelling Whites, among whom Obama has a commanding poll lead over his Republican rival John McCain, according to recent polls. This is especially important in key swing state Michigan, where the Asian American vote is estimated as high as 6 percent, more than enough to tip the state in Obama’s favor.

Obama worked hard to gain support among Asian Americans, helped by the fact that he has a palpable claim to actually being Asian American himself. “All three parts of Obama’s name – Barack Hussain Obama – are Arab,” an Asian American blogger proudly pointed out. “His father was Arab, from a long line of Kenyan Arabs.” This has been turned to both negative and positive commentary by the bloggers and columnists, but the fact of the matter is that Obama is African American by his father’s nationality, Asian American by blood, and he’s using both to his advantage – a large number of Asian and African Americans vote on the basis of racial identification, according to the Asian American Institute and data from various elections around the nation where minority candidates were in play.

“We need to pursue our individual dreams, regardless of background,” Obama said in a campaign speech recently. But he has been careful not to outline his plans too boldly to the largely white, blue-collar, conservative democrats of Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, where both candidates have been actively campaigning as of late. The statements on his website, www.barackobama.com, largely mirror McCain’s, with the exception that he does not outline reforms to the temporary worker program or the green card backlog – in other words, while Latino immigrants currently in the United States might expect better treatment on Obama’s watch, the number of immigrants allowed into the country is not likely to increase as they would under McCain’s administration.

Nonetheless, grassroots activism has sent the tried and true Latino Hillary Clinton-supporting block, which voted for Hillary against Obama by 2 to 1 in the primaries, into Obama’s column for the general election. According to a CNN article, 75 percent of Clinton’s army of Latino voters now back Obama, leaving the Democratic candidate with a comfortable 62 percent of Latino registered voters nationwide.

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In our next issue, we’ll look at both candidates’ positions on some of the issues that affect our nation.

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