US poll results were as surprising as India's
One analyst offered the theory that voters saw Bush as an exclamation mark and Kerry as a question mark.
Election analysts in the United States seem to face the same bewilderment that dogged analysts in India after the unexpected defeat of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this year.
To most India watchers following the elections then, it seemed improbable that the BJP, credited with turning India into a nuclear power and economic power, and fresh from its diplomatic successes with Pakistan, could lose.
Here in the US, one of the great disappointments for opponents of President George Bush has been that the war in Iraq has had little effect on the election's outcome. Neither, it seems, did the two other issues raised by his rival, Democratic candidate John Kerry - terrorism and the economy.
Some analysts have propounded the view that voters were motivated by either fear or anger. The fearful cast their lot with Bush while the angry voted for Kerry. Opinion polls have suggested that Bush supporters saw in him clarity, leadership and religious faith, while Kerry backers supported him for his intelligence, compassion and being the agent of change.