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. Pipe-Dreamer

    Is there anyone out there, or here, or anywhere able to see the lucid Lights of contemplative suggestionisms glaring aimlessly and with fodder-less intellectualisms' decore? I oh me oh my oh,,,,,,,,,,

    April 4, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  2. Vampire Muhammed

    I am the vampire Muhammed, and I've come to suck your blood. Blah, blah. Then I'm going to doing horrific things to nine year old girls. Blah, blah.

    April 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Careful with that name. A raghead might attack you, then the liberal muzzie judge would have to cite Sharia law as to why he wasn't guilty of anything.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gee, GodsPeople, ya sound like a reeeeeal upstanding follower of Jeebus.

      April 5, 2012 at 6:53 am |
  3. Rational Libertarian

    Allah isn't very akbar.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
  4. Alicia Townes

    In order for the president to win I think that he needs all the Muslim"s vote that he can get

    April 4, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
  5. Rob Lanken

    What comes across loud and clear from CNN's coverage of religion in America is that religious Christians are bad and religious muslims are good.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • freeme10

      Oh, give me a break. I am a christian, I am just not up in everyone's business. Sadly, I am one of few like that.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Shar

      Send these people back to the middle east.
      No Sharia – No Koran – Good-bye.
      This article is a B and an S.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • sam stone

      Shar: Send them back to the middle east? They are citizens. If you don't like it, you are free to leave

      April 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • ThaGerm

      Shar, since you are either not from here or managed to live you entire life without understanding what it is to be an American I will explain it to you. Unless you are American Indian we are ALL immigrants in this country. Ever heard the line "Give me your tired, your poor/Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"? It's written on the Statue of Liberty, you should google it or something and familiarize yourself with what it is to be a US citizen...better late than never.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You're right, because both are horrible in actuality.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Jane

      I hope what the bush regime did to the muslim population in this country was a wake up call. gop is for no one but the rich. the only true americans are native americans. everyone else is from somewhere else. wake up people

      April 4, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @ThaGerm: Actually, you're wrong. Due to the existance of Kennewick Man, we can justifiably say there was a Europid civilization in North America prior to the Siberian/Asian tribal invasion over the land bridge. Those Siberian/Asian tribalists wiped out Kennewick's people, and took over. Therefore, they are not "natives," European stock is. I insist you call me a Native American from now on.

      Also, that saying was written by a french designed on a french made statue. We did not commission such a thing, it was given as a "gift." In reality, the damn thing is a curse, as it sticks us with third world trash we could easily live without.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
  6. Devosays

    This is like saying an ant forces the elephant into one direction or another.... how dumb is CNN to think people believe muslims have any voting power in the US, pretty dumb, in fact real dumb!!

    April 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • J.W

      You are assuming that all 300 Million people in the US vote, which is not true. The US has the smallest rate of people who actually vote of almost any country.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • DamianKnight


      That's probably because our votes don't matter because of things like the Electoral College and a two party system. You take states like California, where if you vote Republican, you're throwing your vote away...unless of course, the candidate happens to be a current or ex governor of California (i.e. Ronald Reagan).

      It almost makes voting a waste of time.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • J.W

      Yeah you are right in a way Damian. But if I do vote I feel like I have more of a right to complain. As far as the senators and congressman there is a little bit more power for each vote though.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  7. Nicole Dominique

    So are they going to vote Republican, since the Republicans don't like women or gays either, or Democrat, who don't support Israel as much and aren't Islamophobic racists? LOL

    April 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Haa

      That was my question, too!
      Why would any Muslim be so stupid as to vote for the racist Islamophobes who hate them?
      The answer just hit me: MONEY

      Why wouldn't they sell their votes and use the money to build vest-bombs? They might enjoy the irony of using Republican racist Islamophobe bribe money to finance terrorist activities. I know I would.

      April 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
  8. PEACE

    I see you

    April 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  9. Cheetahe

    CNN, what is the news here, the same can be said for any minority. Polish, Italian, Greek, Latin etc.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Rich

      They just want folks to pay jizya in exchange for votes. Nothing to see here.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • indian111

      Rich first go and find the meaning of Jaziya.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  10. PEACE

    'Time will tell, think you are in heaven but you are living in hell.' (Marley B.) what a wonderful place world is but sadly, we'll all got to leave. Leave to where? think and reconsoder, there's life after death..

    April 4, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
  11. Deep North

    What next, are Muslims the new 1%'ers.....

    April 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  12. Peikovianyi

    As if this was a good thing.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  13. mike58

    They all vote for Muslims like Obama

    April 4, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • LKJ

      Muslims came out en masse for GW Bush in 2000. I'm a Muslim, but I thought that was a really bone-headed thing to do. Right now I hear that many Muslims are leaning toward Ron Paul. (And if Obama is a Muslim, he's doing really lousy job of it.)

      April 4, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Rich

      @LKJ, while Obama isn't Muslim, just give it time. I just read that the Palestinian Authority claims Moses was a Muslim. If they can do that, then pretty soon George Washington and Thomas Jefferson could posthumously convert as well.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • sam stone

      rich: it must hurt being you

      April 4, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • indigo

      Keep playing that card and it might become true (at least to the ignorant). GWB won Florida by 537 votes - a good example of why every vote counts.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:49 pm |
    • TruthIsGood

      Moses was a muslim... as was Abraham, Isaac, Jacob... etc. The word muslim means "one who submits to God". Yes, Jesus too was a muslim!

      April 4, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
  14. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    Yea yea a single vote could swing the election blah blah. Must be a slow news day.

    April 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  15. Jeff

    FYI, most Muslims don't vote...FYI

    April 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Jeff

      FYI, and they have fangs and horns and the skin of reptiles, FYI

      April 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Political Gods

      really? source please?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are so full of crap and lies. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs! . .

      April 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Salad Spinner

      The only thing religion changes is your bank balance. Less for you, more for the liar in charge.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • awasis

      And Santa Clause exists. Just because you believe something doesn't make it true. You can say that something is true when you can prove it. If you disagree with this then anyone can say anything is true. And any intelligent person knows this, so where does that leave you?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Moses

      The only thing prayer changes is the amount of productive time you have.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      Anything on the Torah or parting of the Red Sea, Moses? God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • The Bottom Line

      When you feed the trolls, it gives them the attention they desperately desire, and they keep posting. Arguing with a troll is like trying to put out a fire by throwing gas on it.

      The best thing to do is totally ignore the moron and post nothing. You really don't need to contradict their comments, because they are so repugnant that even Christians think "God, I wish that "Atheism is not/just saying/prayer changes/In god we/person of the" would shut up – she's making us look bad."

      Ask yourself why you are wasting the valuable moments of your life talking to an ignorant dingbat moron. Then just ignore it. I personally never bother to read posts by her, or a few others. Why should I? I know what I am going to see, and it isn't worth it.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:24 pm |
    • just sayin

      And yet strangely, here you are reading, posting as if someone actually cared what your opinion was. Amazing. God bless

      April 4, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Jesus

      "And yet strangely, here you are reading, posting as if someone actually cared what your opinion was."

      You're so full of lies that it's entertaining to make you twitch and read our posts. LOL!

      April 4, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  17. Hikerstud

    The second name is Dalia Mogahed, senior analyst and executive director at the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, and a sitting member of Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

    April 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  18. Hikerstud

    Trevor Loudon has pointed to two members of the White House with potential ties to the radical group. The first is Rashad Hussain, the U.S. Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The Examiner's Cal Thomas has stated that Hussain’s appointment to the OIC “should be of serious concern to Congress and the American public.”

    April 4, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  19. Hikerstud

    In 1991, a memo written by Mohamed Akram for the Shura Council of the Muslim Brotherhood spelled out the objective of the organization. Akram said the Muslim Brotherhood “must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”

    April 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • seraphim0

      And a memo in 2002 by John Newstead of the American Virtues Organization stated that a guy named Hikerstud wasn't giving any sources for his information aside from the ambigious 'Examiner' which is the name of how many newspapers across the country?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  20. American Seadoc

    Hey ! Wouldn't you love to live in a Muslim country now ??
    It's great/ Just think about the wonderful life in Iran, or
    Sudan ?? or Indonesia.. ? We could have it here. I suppose American Muslims would like that. Vote right and you can have it .

    April 4, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • seraphim0

      Because 1 in one hundred is a majority. Failed math, did we?

      April 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Actually there's already been one nationally known instance of Sharia Law being invoked in the US.. a muzzie attacked an atheist for dressing as "zombie mohammed" during some kind of parade, a muzzie attacked him, and the muzzie judge sided with him and cited Sharia law.

      April 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Really?

      Really? You grouped Indonesia with Iran and Sudan?  I bet you can't even point it out on a map yet here you are acting like a know-it-all.  Have you ever visited the country or do you even know a single person who has??  Hint: it's a gorgeous and very welcoming country with a progressive and secular government where non-Muslim minorities (ethnic Chinese, mostly) actually thrive and dominate the business world (name one Western country where non Christians dominate the economy).  If there are problems in Indonesia, they are problems common to any developing country and not ones caused by a crazy religious society/government like in Iran.  You don't have to take my word for it, just ask one of the millions of tourists who go there every year.

      April 4, 2012 at 1:36 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.