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. Georgia Bulldog Fan

    Muslims are not American. You can't be American and Muslim too. If you love America you will get rid of the Muslims. God Bless the USA

    April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • ale biglio

      I think Georgia is not America, let's get rid of Georgia, once and for all, nuke Atlanta!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Carver

      Which Americans are you speaking of? South, middle, north...Canadian, mexican, brazilian...the good old tolerant US of A? Do you fight with Collies and black labs too?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • karina

      it's your kind that's the problem. Muslims come in all nationalities, including American. Southern boys don't know any better. Have you ever been out of the Peach State?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Carver

      Bull Dog, is Katrina our sister? She has the same sensibilities.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • Doc M

      Last I heard, America is a melting pot of multi-cultural backgrounds. What do you say we just get rid of you? Once you bigoted types are gone, this country can live up to its rich potential.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Stevelb1


      April 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
    • disgustedNY

      I'm from the North and I agree with the Bulldog. A woman I worked with kept an Egyptian screen saver on her desktop. The majority of Muslims could care less about America they just want to rob it and use it as a breeding pen.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Really?

      Georgia Bulldog Fan...your mother should have swallowed.

      Disgusted NY, you're from NY and disgusting...nuff said.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • jabroni

      Surely God blesses Canada too!

      April 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • disgustedNY

      What I find disgusting is people living in the US and flying the flag of another country. Anybody who does this is a traitor and I'm not talking about St. Patties day.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest


      Not everyone in america subscribes to your narrow view of "patriotism" which merely sounds for and more like "cleansing".

      April 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • disgustedNY

      Cleansing? Listen Bud. This is the United States of America...we fly old glory here and if you don't like it please GTFO.

      April 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  2. disgustedNY

    Of course this is listed under the "belief" section. Can't go a day without CNN focusing on muslims or mexicans.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • hmmmm

      Prejudice POS!

      April 3, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
    • disgustedNY

      Prejudiced my butt. Sick of pandering to 20 million illegals who are breaking the laws of my country and getting away with it. If you don't support the laws of this country you are free to leave it...please do you traitor!

      April 3, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  3. Jon

    Theres more Athests than there are Jews and muslims combined, great unbiased reporting! # Derp

    April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm |

      Who cares about Atheists? They are only 2-3% of the population and the most hated and distrusted group

      April 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Ken78

      At least 95% of American Jews ARE atheists.

      What was you poiint again?

      April 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  4. Georgia Bulldog Fan

    It should be illegal to be Muslim. I will vote for anyone that will deport Muslims back to their countries. Additionally, Muslim should all have to wear ID badges showing they are muslim and their cars should have special tags so police know they are Muslim. I dont understand how we can have Muslims walking freely in our streets when we are at war with them. Bin Laden was a Muslim. 9/11 was done by the Muslims. We need to watch and/or get rid of these people. No place for Muslims in America.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Elliot

      Lol, maybe there badges can be two triangles on top of eachother making this star looking shape.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • farmdevil

      Those are all the same reasons we should tag Christians.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Marly

      Sit Bulldog ...SIT! I see you're wearing your studded collar today. You know, I could have been a bassinet away from you on your birthday and still been a muslim and today I could vote in the booth right next to your becasue we are fellow citizens. Stop that growling...SIT! 🙂

      April 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Really?

      Come out of the basement and step away from the keyboard. TROLL!

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

      definitely a FOX news subscriber!

      April 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
    • Shaden101

      Mr. Bulldog, do you follow the teachings of Adolf Hitler much? As a muslim born into a Christian family in Wisconsin I find your statment ignorant. I was born into a Christian family, raised Christian, converted, and most shockingly for you my ancestors are from Finland and Spain! Have fun you racist, ignorant dog

      April 4, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Shaden101

      Oh, I forgot to mention at the age of 15 I actually care about these things.

      April 4, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • mikekuznar

      do you actually believe Bulldog is who he says he is? I'm a conservative and work in politics and never meet anyone this arrogant, I smell a troll or a liberal trying to make conservatives look bad with his corny internet acting.

      April 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  5. Danny A. Moose

    Interesting. I would have thought a population that is ultra-conservative on social issues would be more drawn to the republicans than the democrats.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • farmdevil

      Maybe it's the racism that steered them away.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Danny A. Moose

      That doesn't make any sense. "Muslim" is not a race, any more than "catholic" or "hindu" are races.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  6. GA3672

    There you go again using religion when it comes to supporting your point of view. It is a shame this country is going down the path of self destruction.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  7. dragontrlr

    I wonder the point of this article and what the author is implying????? republicans are all about the seperation of church and state and all about religious freedoms. so why does he think this is an issue?

    April 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Marly

      They make the issues. The comments are more fun and telling than these stories. Who cares about the text. All they need is a headline ...who really reads past that anyway? 🙂

      April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • HotAirAce

      dragontrlr, are you serious about the pubs! The only time they're really serious about "separation of church and state" is when they want to force their beliefs on everyone else. Santorum and Gingrich might be extreme examples, but they clearly demonstrate that the 'pubs are the ones dragging religion into the election and politics.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  8. Carl Schmidt

    Muslims are Americans too! Their vote will count just as much as yours does. I am a German American and I will defend to the death their right to vote and enjoy all freedoms just like any other American. I spent 25 years in the Navy doing just that.....defending freedom!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Marly

      Cool Carl. I guess CNN cuaght your emotion with this hook of a story. Time to find some real news somewhere.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • karina

      vollkommen richtig! Well said!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  9. Marly

    Just about any group voting in concert can swing the vote one way or the other if all others average out. And, as we were taught, it may only take a group of 1. 🙂 So, what makes this a story other than it is good emotional bait?

    April 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  10. Elliot

    You would think they would like Santorum, they seem to think the same way...get rid of the g@ys, ban p0rn, get rid of womens rights, no fun, ect.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • karina

      Not all muslims are backward, just like all Christians don't subscribe to GOP rhetoric!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • Elliot

      So there are pro-gay muslim mosques? There are mosques that feel that it is ok for muslim women to wear swimsuits and go swimming at a public pool? I ask these questions because I just assume this is not the case based off of article I've read but please correct me if I'm mistaken.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  11. bannister

    Wait a minute...I thought it was Hispanics that were supposed to decide the next election! My, how the story keeps changing...

    Of course, it is really WHITES who will decide the next election because we are still the majority. If the majority of Whites vote for Romney, he will win. If the majority vote for Obama, he will win. In fact, Whites could completely regain control of their country if they only stuck together. Unfortunately, the false "Left-Right" paradigm will keeps us divided until eventually... we will be ruled by OTHERS and then it will be too late.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • Maggie

      Boy are you ever deluded.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • CDube

      i thought we was supposed to be the american people

      April 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • dragontrlr

      muslims are a religious group not a race.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • USVOter

      "WHITES" wth, is it still 1700's,

      April 3, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • bannister

      CDUBE – "I thought we were supposed to be the American people"

      Exactly. So why is CNN running a story about how a specific GROUP (in this case the Muslims) could swing an election? If it's not wrong for CNN to mention a SPECIFIC GROUP (Muslims) then don't be surprised when you start to see white people doing the same thing.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • disgustedNY

      It's actually often Florida that usually wins it and I would hate to see the demographic on that state.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
  12. Ben

    You're high

    April 3, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  13. Abe Qutub

    1.2 million Muslims registered to vote !? Those are the ones who volunteered such info ! There are an estimated 7-10 million Muslims in this country, those of age to vote WILL VOTE, they are MOTIVATED !! Muslims are moa mgvo

    April 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Billiam Hillary

      They are too busy following the ways of their pedophile prophet.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Joseph

      No that is a lie put out by cair and other terrorist support groups. There are about 2,000,000 muslims in the US and they are creating problems all over the nation.

      April 5, 2012 at 9:01 am |
  14. winstonsmith

    Muslims count as foreigners? Er... you could be born in this country, and your kids born in this country, and be Muslim, meanwhile you could be born in the Middle East and come here and have been Christian the entire time.

    It's not racism that is killing America, it's xenophobia. What is this, 1912? DEM STUPID IRISH TAKING OUR JOBS!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Shaden101


      April 4, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  15. Bob

    Either way they are going to be watched closely by any administration. Obama has done a good job of making sure the FBI is keeping tabs on things. If they vote for him, great.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • dragontrlr

      yeah obama been doing good. that is why the supreme court just ruled that GPS tracking is illegal. thousands of illegal tracking devices on cars and trucks belonging to muslims. hope they remember this government intrusion come election day

      April 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Abe

      You think they're going to vote for a republican !!? NO WAY !!

      April 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
  16. mikstov33

    I wouldn't worry too much about the Muslim vote until 2020......by then we will probably have a Muslim population greater than the Hispanics, along with a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood.......Uncle Sam will morph into Uncle Shareef, and we will have not one but two Supreme court justices with a tilt toward Sharia. They may even tear down the statue of President Lincoln, and erect a mosque on the site......

    April 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      the reason of course is that Muslims "breed like rabbits"
      – they make sacrifices
      – women stay home and raise children
      – men go out and look for work
      – relatives support each other
      – kids are taught morals and value of hard work
      – education is emphasized, not smoking pot

      what is two muslims today ends up becoming 200 muslims in just 60 years!!!
      they are LIKE ANTS, tirelessly, mindlessly working away to grow as a community

      COMPARE that to po rn and booze guzzling hypocrite christians and po rn making and casino worshipping atheists idiots. Here today, gone tomorrow. No trace of them in 60 years. DEAD. From two today to zero in 60 years.

      No wonder Sharia is coming! Its coming because of hard work, commitment, sacrifice! Not because of fornicating, boozing and gambling.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:32 am |
  17. Senor Ed

    This should get all the rednecks riled up real good. Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaaaaaw!!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  18. Raven

    4 more years and sharia is on the horizon.

    April 3, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  19. olepi

    "Bush won by 537 votes ..."

    Well, not actually. When the Supreme Court decided that we couldn't count any more votes, Bush had that tiny lead. Bush didn't "win" anything, he was appointed.

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

      While the Supreme Court's decision was reprehensible, independent recounts proved that Bush did win the Florida Electoral Votes by that margin. Thanks Ralph.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • winstonsmith

      Actually no, Gore had the most votes. It was only the undervotes that were in Bush's favor, but a full recount including undervotes and Gore had it.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  20. WVLady63

    Great, foreigners now tipping American Elections in America. Does anyone out there see what is happening to our America???? Because we are a tolerant nation, foreigners come into our country and take advantage of us and now they are taking over period. Go ahead and laugh, everybody laughed at Noah.......

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

      To whom are you referring? High school teaches us that one can only vote if one is a citizen. THEREFORE, they are CITIZENS as you and I are. However if you would REALLY like to look at things objectively, your inbred ancestors had ancestors too and these were from somewhere in Europe, likely. By definition, they too would be foreigners.

      **NOTE** Would someone PLEASE lobby for better education in West Virginia????

      April 3, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • matt

      add in the 30,000,000 illegals having 5 kids each and becoming instant legal citizens and id say we will be defeated rather quickly.....our defeat will be at our own stupidity and political correctness.....

      April 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • JustTheFacts

      Why do you assume that they are all foriegners? There are many American born Muslims and for those that immigrated they have become citizens which gives them the right to vote....

      April 3, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • Judy

      Hey idiot.....it said Muslims not foreigners. You must be a republican

      April 3, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Robrob

      Uh, you *do* realize the article is about Muslim *CITIZENS* right?

      April 3, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • oskky

      Well !! We Done then....

      April 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • USVOter

      i want to educate you, but i am afraid it is too late.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Maggie

      Sorry mcb, not possible.

      April 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • M. Simons

      If they're American citizens, they're not foreigners!! – they're Americans.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Abe

      Hey smart guy, foreigners are US !!! Unless of course you're Native American .

      April 3, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • dragontrlr

      are you kidding me? you think muslims are foreigners? they are a religious group. I

      April 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • IAInvestor

      Actually, Dead people voting will have a greater impact in the upcoming election. As long as we don't require an ID, they will continue to vote. Dems don't seem to care about voting integrity, at least as long as the dead continue to swing left.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:07 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.