Muslim voters could swing election, report finds
Owla Awada manages a popular bakery in Dearborn, Michigan, a possible battleground state in November.
April 3rd, 2012
03:35 PM ET

Muslim voters could swing election, report finds

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

(CNN) - The number of Muslims in the United States is tiny - less than one in 100 Americans - but their votes could sway the results of the presidential election in November, a new study says.

That's because they are concentrated in a number of key swing states, says Farid Senzai, the author of the report.

Take Florida, for example, the state that famously swung the 2000 presidential election for George W. Bush over Al Gore.

Bush won by 537 votes - while a get-out-the-vote phone bank contacted 23,000 Muslims in one day during elections in 2008 and 2010, the report says.

Nauman Abbasi - the head of Emerge USA, which ran the phone bank - says efforts like his will increase Muslim voter turnout.

There are about 1.2 million registered Muslim voters in the United States, according to the study, "Engaging American Muslims."

More religious Muslims and those more involved in their mosques are more likely to vote, it found.

The biggest Muslim populations are in New York and California, which are unlikely to be battleground states in November.

But the next largest numbers of Muslim voters are found in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia, all of which could be key battlegrounds between President Barack Obama and his Republican opponent.

Florida and Ohio, two states that have been decided by razor-thin margins in recent years, also have enough Muslim voters to make a difference to the final result, the report says.

Of course, many other, larger constituencies, from Hispanics to women to the unemployed to political independents, could also claim to be the key ingredient in a winning coalition.

And Muslim voters have much the same concerns as the population at large, with domestic issues and the economy dominating, the study says.

Most Muslims voted for Bush in 2000, Democratic Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008.

They are more likely than the population as a whole to approve of Obama's performance now, the study found.

The report comes from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Washington think tank focusing on Muslim issues. It is based largely on earlier data from sources including Gallup, Zogby International and the Pew Research Center.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: 2012 Election • Islam • Politics

soundoff (836 Responses)
  1. Cheryl Jefferies

    Too bad that a lot of Muslim leaders in America are upset about that little "smoking gun" in ObamaCare forcing us all, including those of the Muslim faith, to pay for abortions. Maybe honest, thinking Muslims may not be as willing as Obama to pay for someone else to commit murder? Guess CNN never thought about that.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      Why shouldn't believers pay for abortions, after all 70+% of abortions in the USA each year are had by believers...

      April 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • captain america

      This ass hole is a canadian who should worry about abortions in canada instead of interfering on our election. Leave America to US and go get your f'n shine box. There's your sign

      April 3, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      That's a terrible thing to call Cheryl...

      April 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • gocart mozart

      Cheryl, stop making up "facts" No such rule exists. Don't bear false wittness.

      April 3, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • BCat

      Don't worry, Barry will probably give the Muzzies any exemptions they demand. Catholics and other Christian faiths will have to bend over and take it, but not the Muzzies.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • pico

      If any Muslim vote republican is just ignorant .they should just read the comment on fix news forum.
      And guess what I am a Muslim who will vote for Obama .and the only republican I see myself voting for is Ron paul but as we know he is too Too Smart for the Republican Base

      Ron Paul will never be the nominee of the gop

      April 4, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  2. Republicans are Neanderthals

    Since the Tea Party believes Obama is a Muslim he should win in a landslide.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  3. GodsPeople

    Why are muzzies allowed to vote (or even BE here) after 9-11 anyway? What else do we want them blowing up?

    April 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • gumbo

      Muslims are people – idjut- like christians, jews, hindus and so on...

      April 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Anwar

      I see that your screen name has GOD but you have shown absolute arrogance, Fear GOD.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Arlan

      Because, dumb people like you don't get a Republican elected πŸ˜€

      April 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • mk1

      Godspeople. I have often wondered why they let ignorant racist bigoted rednecks vote.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • D1

      Its called freedom of religion. The vast majority of muslims condemn the attacks on 9-11. In fact 300 muslims died on that day. The attackers claimed to be muslims, but there actions were heretical to the teachings of Islam.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • Harry

      You are brain dead!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • American

      I'm a white American Muslim, born and raised in the South, from a family with proven records of ancestors fighting in the Revolutionary War against Britain... and guess what? I'm conservative.
      I don't understand why my fellow conservatives still alienate Muslims who share many of the same opinions and values. If they would open up to them, they would find many friends. It's embarrassing when I constantly have to defend my conservative politics to my Muslim brothers and sisters on account of morons who make a bad name for conservatives.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Mopery

      The same thing could be said about Christians after Tim McVeigh blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma. It's the same coin(religion), just a different side.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Bubble

      Before generously calling people christian do some research. McVeigh was agonostic when he co mmitted those crimes.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Brandon

      "GodsPeople"...."muzzies".....have fun explaining yourself to your maker.....and spending eternity in hell.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Mohamhead

      Eventually we will get rid of the muslims. Mark my words.

      April 15, 2012 at 3:30 am |
  4. erik

    Where is a better, fairer place to live than USA for hardworking people?

    April 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • FFFF

      they can espouse thier lifestyles elsewhere...

      April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  5. works4me

    Not just the Muslims, but the intelligent among us that will keep President Obama in office!!

    April 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • DL

      no, the brainwashed sociopaths will keep obama in

      April 3, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Michael

      All morons have the same opinion.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Merry Prankster

      Geez DL have you seen the GOP lineup?

      April 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • bmw678

      Absolutely, we will keep him in office, GOP is bunch of white folk party, and guess we are not white.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Funny

      You statement is VERY funny since the VAST MAJORITY of educated and sucessful people vote for the GOP and Romney!!! So if you look at the numbers you are DEAD wrong and very uneducated!!!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • works4me

      @funny... I have read, I am educated and you are the one that is wrong. Now step away from the urinal and stop repeating the things you "learn" while standing there.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • J.W

      The majority of educated people voted for Romney? That is true in the primaries, but probably not in the general election.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  6. JerseyBill

    This just in: Muslims favor Obama!! How does CNN maintain this uncanny nose for breakthrough news? I bet if CNN was around in 1960, they would have been the first out there with another headline: Catholics vote for Kennedy!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Zeb

      And let me guess... you believe Obama is a secret Muslim, right!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  7. bfpiercelk

    Wow another group that could tilt the election in somebody's favor article on CNN. Does the same guy write these things?

    April 3, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  8. Linda

    Let me guess. The GOP will soon start kissing up to the Muslim voters but it's too little, too late.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Michael

      Obama is a muslim with christian dress.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Merry Prankster

      And Mitt and Ricky are satins with suits.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Merry Prankster


      April 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • FFFF

      making up less than 1 out of 100 uh no...and who cares about muslims.. Its a filthy dirty cult. Dearborn Michigan sucks...

      April 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Harry

      Michael- you are an idiot!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
  9. Islam: The Religion That Goes BANG!!!

    They could also swing the election to the Republicans with just one suicide bombing.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Sooner or later someone plays Pop Goes The Palestinian on the NYC subway, and then that liberal city goes Nazi overnight.

      New Yorkers are patient, but they have been pushed as far as they will allow.

      Damn cops are already like the Gestapo!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • superhit

      coming soon at your door step with a bang

      April 3, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Senor Ed

      I'm sure the Republicans have already considered that idea.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  10. Emmy Skaddittle

    If listen to Santourm his vision is not that much different that sharia law

    April 3, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • William Demuth

      One cult is no different than another.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Michael

      You do not know what Saria law is.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  11. Reality

    Why the Muslim vote will mean "squat" in the presidential election:

    Why the Christian Right no longer matters in presidential elections:

    Once again, all the conservative votes in the country "ain't" going to help a "pro-life" presidential candidate, i.e Mitt Romney, Newton Leroy Gingrich, Ron Paul or Rick Santorum, in 2012 as the "Immoral Majority" rules the country and will be doing so for awhile. The "Immoral Majority" you ask?

    The fastest growing USA voting bloc: In 2008, the 70+ million "Roe vs. Wade mothers and fathers" of aborted womb-babies" whose ranks grow by two million per year i.e. 78+ million "IM" voters in 2012.

    2008 Presidential popular vote results:

    69,456,897 for pro-abortion/choice BO, 59,934,814 for "pro-life" JM.

    And the irony:

    And all because many women fail to take the Pill once a day or men fail to use a condom even though in most cases these men have them in their pockets. (maybe they should be called the "Stupid Majority"?)

    The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill and male condom have led to the large rate of abortions ( one million/yr) and S-TDs (19 million/yr) in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or condoms properly and/or use other safer birth control methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.

    i.e. If the Pill and male condoms were used properly, abortion would not be an issue and Obama would not be president.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • ELM

      If Obama wasn't president that means John McClain (or worse, Sarah Palin) would be president. God save us!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • erik

      They should fix straight people until they want a child and then can take a pill to be able to reproduce again.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Michael

      When Islam come into power; they may not spare a single liberal.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • WakeupAmerica

      What people like you don't understand is just because someone is "Pro – Choice" does not mean they are "Pro – Abortion" . Its not a moral or religious thing at all. Most just don't feel it is anyone's right to take away a womans choice in their particular situation. On top of that its not my right as a male to tell a woman what she can and can't do.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Reality

      Wake up WakeupAmerica-

      The reality of contraception and STD control: – from a guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

      Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

      The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

      : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

      Added information before making your next move:

      from the CDC-2006

      "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

      And from:

      Consumer Reports, January, 2012

      "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

      Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

      "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

      Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

      The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
      1a. (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
      1b. (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
      Followed by:
      One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
      Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
      The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
      Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
      IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
      Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

      April 3, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
  12. Church

    Every time a Repugnant opens his (or her) mouth, more voters leave their party and become Independent or Democrat.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Michael

      If Democrats rule for couple of decades America may not survive. We will produce everything in China because that is environmentally friendly. Liberals may not reproduce because they care about carbon foot prints,communities who reproduce at a faster rate will overtake the present majority. They like illegals; so they will keep borders open. Anyway gays and lesbians will not reproduce. If some women are carrying Planned parenthood will abort it. The fast growing immigrants will overtake. That is the end of liberalism.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • smb04d

      The same could be said for Democrats...It's always the "extremes" that open up their mouths and spew hatred and stupidity. Don't just blame Republicans.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  13. momoya

    How silly.. "Could" What a fail of logic.

    I mean really, it COULD come down to just one vote (though it's not likely), but then if it did who decided the election??

    April 3, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Well, actually, no it can't.

      We don't use the popular vote for anything.

      The parties decide and then the electoral college decides.

      It isn't possible to come down to one vote by design.

      You know we can't really allow democracy and all, too many stupid people vote.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
  14. Mark

    The Repub Party shouldn't worry too much, even though they have lost the women vote, gay vote, Hispanic vote, Muslim vote, and "anyone who is different" vote. They still have the rich, straight, white Christian vote!

    April 3, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Take wealthy off of that and it's the only vote that should matter.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • erik

      Not voting for them!!!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Michael

      Obama proves that he is the racist president ever. He divides and rules.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  15. This Just In From The CNN Political Desk!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Tap-dancing Transylvanian-American Transvestite Heroin Dealers Expected To Swing The Election!

    by Bob Loblaw, CNN janitorial staff

    "In a report release today, the keen political analysts here at CNN have discovered the due to their strategic placement in swing states, tap-dancing Transylvanian-American transvestite heroin dealers will be the decisive factor in the upcoming presidential election. They will be the decisive factor catapulting Christine O'Donnell into her surprise reign as President of the United States. Apparently she really is a witch, and her mind control of certain obscure minority groups will launch her into power.

    CNN – bringing you the finest political an/b>alysis!

    April 3, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • William Demuth

      Ignore the Lesbian Eskimos at your own peril!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
  16. Patriot Awesome

    Another group of people that aren't going to vote Republican. You can add them to the black vote, the Hispanic vote, the women vote, the gay vote, hell just about anybody that's not an over weight wealthy (or poor uneducated) white christian male.

    April 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Mark

      hey, Patriot Awesome- I just wrote almost the same thing before reading yours!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Michael

      Obama needs rich liberal whites so that he can kick the whites at the back.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Again Funny

      Another funny statement cause if you look at the numbers before flapping your worthless lips, the MAJORITY of educated rich people vote for GOP and Romney! So please research before you start talking about poor uneducated voters and who they vote for!!!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  17. William Demuth

    The Jeebus freaks must be peeing themselves.

    Next stop Sharia law.

    Maybe the big bad camel jockeys will violate the pure Christian virgins

    Just like they did to Jeebuses Mom

    April 3, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • Missouri Boy

      Why? Why do you feel the need to be so insulting? I hope CNN really does monitor these posts. Yours should be deleted.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • smb04d

      Are you there Jeebus?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 3, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • OC

      Nope, tried prayer and it didn't work!

      April 3, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      Try prayer as a Christian. God bless
      God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever would believe in Him (Jesus Christ) will not perish but will have eternal life.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Zeb

      @OC: avoid praying to an old white guy in flowing white robes, and try praying to Gaiea; better chances...

      April 3, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • OC

      I imagine Christians in the classroom in that Christian college yesterday were praying for their lives and that sure didn't work. Atheism is healthy for children and grown ups alike because it teaches them to use their minds to come to conclusions instead of just following others or believing in fictional books.

      @Zeb I appreciate the effort, but when I used to pray, I prayed to something closer to Gaia than a man in robes. I was more spiritual than religious at the time.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  19. David Jamison

    Muslims voted for Bush before he started killing them and then voted for Kerry. Shocking.

    April 3, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • just sayin

      and they didn't make a difference.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  20. muslims are conservative

    They will vote for Obama

    April 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Ryan

      CNN-This being an election year ,here are a few things you can do to help with your case.

      -continue to report on articles that are pro islamic,
      -continue to attack the Catholic church and everything that falls under the category- Bible
      -make sure you keep the focus on wombs and nosies πŸ˜‰

      April 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • Kipling

      The author of this report is an atheist? a buddhist? no guesses there , it is a muslim.

      April 3, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • GodPot

      "no guesses there , it is a muslim."

      "The report comes from the Instltute for Social Policy and Understanding, a Washington think tank focusing on Muslim issues."

      April 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Michael

      Can a Muslim stand a Gay or Lesbian?

      April 3, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Kipling

      pot-read the article carefully.
      looks for the part that says - says Farid Senzai, the author of the report.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.