The new poll, conducted by an independent research firm on behalf of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also indicates that 91 percent of registered Muslim voters will go to the polls on November 6. [NOTE: The random survey of 500 registered Muslim voters, conducted in the first two weeks of October, has a margin of error of five percent.]
Sixty-eight percent of the survey respondents said they will vote to re-elect President Obama. Seven percent said they will vote for Mitt Romney.
"These results indicate that a large percentage of American Muslim voters are still open to appeals from presidential candidates and that American Muslims are potentially in a position to decide this year's election," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad.
Other findings released at CAIR's joint news conference today with the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT*) include:
- The top five issues of importance to American Muslim voters are jobs and the economy, education, health care policy, Medicare and Social Security, and civil rights.
- 55 percent of Muslim voters consider themselves moderate and 26 percent liberal, while 16 percent consider themselves conservative.
- The percentage of those who said they are closer to the Democratic Party grew from 49 percent in a similar poll taken in 2008 to 66 percent today. Affiliation with the Republican Party remained nearly the same, with a 1 percent increase from 8 percent in 2008 to 9 percent today.
- 49 percent of respondents said that the Democratic Party was friendly towards Muslims, while 12 percent said that the Republican Party was friendly. Conversely, 51 percent of respondents said that the Republican Party was unfriendly towards Muslims, while 6 percent said that the Democratic Party was unfriendly.
- 35 percent of respondents say they have experienced religious or ethnic profiling or discrimination post-9/11. The same percentage say they experienced kind treatment by neighbors or co-workers in that period.
- Half of those polled attend a mosque at least once a month.
- 70 percent of Muslim respondents say they have a four-year or graduate degree, compared to 34 percent college attendance for the entire population.
- On international issues, 68 percent of respondents say the U.S. should provide support to those fighting for freedom in Syria and 76 percent say the U.S. and NATO made the right decision by intervening in the Libyan revolution.
- When asked to name an organization that best represents the interests of American Muslims, 65 percent of those who responded named CAIR.
As part of its non-partisan election activities, CAIR has distributed "MVP - Muslim Voter Power" get-out-the-vote posters and lawn signs to mosques and other Islamic institutions nationwide.
CAIR has also acquired a national list of registered Muslims voters and its chapters around the nation are currently conducting non-partisan efforts to turn out those voters in November.
In addition, CAIR is providing the American Muslim community with a number of items designed to maximize voter participation:
- CAIR partnered with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) as part of its efforts to empower minority voters. CAIR is encouraging supporters to join ADC's voter protection unit.
- CAIR provides the community with voter guides that provide information on presidential candidates, as well as data on times polls are open and what to take with you when you vote.
SEE: CAIR Voter Registration Drive Toolkit
CAIR 2012 General Election State Voting Guides
CAIR 2012 Presidential Voter Guide
- CAIR uses the Twitter hashtag "#MuslimsVote" for updates on election issues and get-out-the-vote efforts.
SEE: CAIR Launches 2012 Muslims Vote Campaign
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
* AMT is a national coalition of major Muslim organizations that includes American Muslim Alliance (AMA), American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), National Association of Imams (NAIF) and United Muslims of America (UMA).
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CONTACT: CAIR National Legislative Director Corey Saylor, 202-384-8857, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org