Wednesday, September 13, 2006

American primaries & Mulims in US politics

A big round of primaries just in. Lincoln Chafee the very moderate Republican Senator defeated his more conservative challenger in Rhode Island. Chafee despite often voting against his party was heavily backed by the Republican leadership would believed (surely correctly) that he was the only Republican who could hold Rhode Island (which last voted for a Republican president in 1984). It means that the Democrats will face a much tougher battle to win Rhode Island which would be essential to their hopes of a Senate majority. As a Democratic blog said 'damm'. Hilary Clinton easy victory against her anti-war challenger in New York. In Minnesota a Muslim African-American won endorsement for a safe Democratic seat, he would be not only the first Muslim congressman but also the first African-American from Minnesota. More on his primary campaign and background here. Some might anticipate a tough campaign for him, but the 2005 Pew public opinion survey (available from here) showed that 54% of Americans had a very or somewhat favourable view of Muslims compared to a total unfavourable of 24%. On the follow up from another primary Lieberman has a 13% lead over Lamont in Connecticut. Lamont is viewed more unfavourably than Lieberman, a sure sign he has let Lieberman set the agenda. I wouldn't think this gap is unbridgeable but this statement from Lamont’s communications director suggests a campaign in serious trouble and some alarming self-delusion:
"These numbers don't reflect what we've been experiencing out on the trail and in the community. We are not running our campaign based on the polls, and if we were we wouldn't be here at all."


At 10:10 PM, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

Good summary. Re Ellison, it isn't the fact that he's a Muslim per se, but, rather, his previous association with the viciously anti-semitic Nation of Islam:

"It's possible he sees his own identity as being American"

At 10:12 PM, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

Whoops . . . Wrong link in prvious comment. Here's the correct one:

"It's possible he sees his own identity as being American"

At 5:51 PM, Blogger Geoff Robinson said...

Well, I am sure if you were a young black guy with a bit of a chip on your shoulder Nation of Islam probably look exciting and cool. Eventually you would see that they were a nutty cult and move on. 100,000s of Americans passed through the Communist Party and left when they worked out what the party was about. Life is about making mistakes and learning from them.


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