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NRI makes a point in Wisconsin poll

world Updated: Jun 07, 2012 23:54 IST
Yashwant Raj

Within minutes of the close of polling Tuesday evening, Hari Trivedi was lost among his emails. The race was over. He had made his point. It was time to move on.

Wisconsin, a traditionally Democratic state, voted Tuesday to defeat a move to recall Republican governor Scott Walker, in a race so tight Trivedi had started looking dangerous.

He looked in danger of cutting into Democratic votes and taking away the race from the Democratic Party candidate Tom Barrett. Who was this man?

Trivedi is a nephrologist who grew up in Mumbai and relocated to the US in 1992. He jumped into the race without much advance work, exactly a fortnight ago.

“It was clear that neither of my opponents had delivered to their constituents,” Trivedi told HT over phone, adding, “the idea was to compete.”

But did he expect to win? This fight was beyond Trivedi to fight or win. The recall move was brought against Walker by the Democrats. For some, this fight was about President Barack Obama. And the outcome, it was said, could influence his re-election bid.

Trivedi’s fight looked small in comparison, but not his cause. He believes education holds the key to US resurgence and cuts in budgetary spendings would grievously impact the country’s ability to fight off China and India. But he had a tough time putting across his vision. He was left out of two gubernatorial debates. He was apparently not a serious enough candidate.

An opinion poll around then showed he was likely to get about 2% of the vote and the Democrats suddenly saw visions of Ross Perot causing the defeat of Gorge HW Bush in 1992.

Could Trivedi have cost Democrats the governorship? He never intended to and he didn’t. “When I last checked,” Trivedi said Wednesday afternoon, “my tally was around 14,000.” The doctor’s score was less than 2%. Barrett, the Democratic candidate should have felt safe. He didn’t get anywhere close to that — losing comprehensively to Walker.