Swedes sound off on US Presidential primary in New York
On the occasion of the New York US Presidential primaries, Radio Sweden rang around to find out what impression Swedes have of the campaign in the country that is the biggest second home to Swedes.
According to an estimate by Swedes Worldwide, about 150,000 Swedes live in the U.S., more than in any other country, with about 20,000 to 25,000 of them living in New York City.
One Swede, Richard Olsson, booked his vacation around the New York primary, so that he could canvass for the Bernie Sanders campaign.
"I was really worried that it would be offensive for a foreigner to come into the country and . . . that it would be seen as trying to meddle in American politics," said Olsson, who espouses Sanders' "dove"-like approach to foreign policy and to the issue of climate change. "But on the contrary, people are really happy to hear that someone cares enough to cross the Atlantic to get into the campaign."
"Obviously, being Swedish, Scandinavian, a lot of Sanders' policies are based on or similar to the Scandinavian welfare model, so that gives me a perspective that people really listen to," said Olsson.
Meanwhile, Linnea S Lange, a Swedish blogger who writes about the American Presidential elections, explained why she prefers Hillary Clinton.
"I really like the fact that she's been working for women and children for a long time, I think she has always had a progressive streak, and I think that she doesn't get due credit for that," said Lange, who used to live in the US and worked for a reproductive rights Political Action Committee.
"The question is not usually whether you are a Republican sympathizer, it's whether or not you are for Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders," Lange believes.
But she also believes that the Republican race is the more interesting one right now, in terms of who will win and how, and she said that Swedes with more Libertarian tendencies would be more keen to sympathize with the Republican party.
"I think a lot of the Christian Democrats here in Sweden are looking towards someone like Marco Rubio, who is not a candidate anymore obviously," said Lange.
Stefan Dufgran, who has lived in New York for the better part of the last decade, told Radio Sweden that while in Sweden he would tend to support the Social Democrats, in the US elections, he supports Bernie Sanders, though he's always liked Clinton.
"I don't think that it would be, honestly, a huge difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders," Dufgran said.