The Muslim vote in the US

Published: November 6, 2012

A citizen votes on a paper ballot during the final day of early voting at the Lancaster Board of Elections on November 5 in Lancaster, Ohio. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON: 

As Americans go to the polls on Tuesday to elect the next President, along with a host of House and Senate members, a survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says that 68% of Muslims in the US will vote for the incumbent President Barack Obama.

The survey, with a sample size of 500 registered Muslim voters nationwide, says that 7% of the respondents said they would vote for the Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The CAIR survey also says 25% of voters are still undecided.

The US Religious Census of 2010, released this year by the Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies, says that in 2010, Muslims made up nearly one percent of the population in the US.

The states with sizeable Muslim populations include Michigan, Illinois, New York and New Jersey amongst others.

Unemployment remains at 7.9% in the country, and while new jobs have been added to the US economy, unemployment and the effects of the recession remain core issues for in the US. These issues, according to the CAIR survey, remain the topmost issues for Muslim voters too.

Then why Barack Obama?

Robert McCaw, the Government Affairs Coordinator at CAIR, says that it may not just be about Mitt Romney, but the Republican Party as a whole.

“In 2000, 90% of Muslims had voted for George Bush, it’s because he had strong outreach to the Muslim community, in addition to other Republican candidates. We see that in this election, the Romney campaign has not done a good job in reaching out to the Muslim voters and also his party, at the federal and state level have adopted 73 anti-Muslim, anti-foreign law bills, targeting Muslims and the practise of their faith.”

McCaw says these anti-foreign and anti-Sharia bills sponsored by the Republican party have had a negative impact on the outlook of Muslim voters. Whether that negative impact is felt on Election Day will only be apparent when the polls close.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 6th, 2012.

Reader Comments (11)

  • gp65
    Nov 6, 2012 - 10:33AM

    “The states with sizeable Muslim populations include Michigan, Illinois, New York and New Jersey amongst others”.

    None of these are swing states so impact will be minimal. IT would have been helpful to provide information about how many eligible Muslim voters are there in these states to make more sense of the story. The story does not even mention how many Muslim voters there are in total in US.

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:07AM

    68% muslims shall vote for Obama to endanger and make the other muslims’ lives of the world more and more risky….
    In other words Obama’s selection by the 68% US’ muslims means and indicating towards the destruction of the other innocent and sinless muslims of the world especially Pakistani tribal muslims and Afghani muslims…..

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  • M.Ahmer Ali
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:08AM

    68% muslims shall vote for Obama to endanger and make the other muslims’ lives of the world more and more risky….
    In other words Obama’s selection by the 68% US’ muslims means and indicating towards the destruction of the other innocent and sinless muslims of the world especially Pakistani tribal muslims and Afghani muslims…..Recommend

  • PakShock
    Nov 6, 2012 - 11:20AM

    Republican party is run by hard core Rich White Christian Fundamentalists who hate immigrants and all non Christian Faiths and has a reputation of initiating dictatorship and selfish personal agendas around the globe, sometime even at the cost of poor countries and old friends.
    Voting for Obama is also show of hatred toward the Republican party’s policies for all beside the class mentioned above.
    This is not an offensive comment, U.S. papers have harsher comments posted against either parties unless of-course Pak papers are pro Romney.

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  • GT
    Nov 6, 2012 - 5:02PM

    McCaw says these anti-foreign and anti-Sharia bills sponsored by the Republican party have had a negative impact on the outlook of Muslim voters.

    I don’t see anything wrong in that. When you go to America, you assimilate like most immigrants have done and follow the law of the land not any other period. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Nov 6, 2012 - 7:46PM

    Muslim vote on the national level has zero impact (not enough votes and not located in swing states). However – local elections are a different matter and in the long run that probably effects their day to day living more than the selection of the President. Voting still remains a big deal and every American Muslim should take the time to vote.

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  • m.b.f.h.
    Nov 6, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Voting is a citizen’s right and an Islamic Sunnah. All Muslims must participate in the government and it’s policies. It don’t take whole crowd to right a letter to it’s leaders and ask for re-considering the minority rights in it’s policies. Muslims of different countries in US are very active in local governments, national and international politics. They write, they campaign, they give fund and elect their leaders who then make major policy decision in Washington for their future and their homeland’s.

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  • Muhammad Yaqub
    Nov 7, 2012 - 1:12AM

    What does a person do when the choice is between a Devil and the Deep Sea???

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  • MK
    Nov 7, 2012 - 1:20AM

    @GT:

    I do not see All Americans ASSIMILATED into Native American culture, when they migrated to their land. Hispanic Americans make about 17% of the population and have a great impact on culture and cuisine. America is a melting pot of cultures. Candidates do their best to woo segments like Hispanic or Jewish vote in elections. Muslim population growth in US is one of the fastest and nothing wrong for Muslims to bring their issues on the table and participate in democratic process of the country they call home.

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  • Nobody
    Nov 7, 2012 - 12:20PM

    @gp65:
    Michigan was considered a swing state this election and also has one of the highest Muslim populations in the country.

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  • Mughal e Azam
    Nov 7, 2012 - 12:56PM

    Most of the muslim specially Pakistanis are living in VA and they are supporting Obama.

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