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. Peter

    You go Muslims!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  2. Ziopublican

    That is why they should not be allowed to vote. They belong in concentration camps. Build a tall wall around them as Israel has done. Stop granting them the freedoms they don't deserve. This country is for Christians and Jews. Everyone else is .... alien.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Inflammatory Troll

      You are a troll. The sad part is some people will believe that you are serious.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Brian

      lol you're racist.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Bob

      You are an racist idiot

      April 3, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • thecollegeadmissionsguru

      @Zio – I know you are trying to be funny and perhaps even attempting something akin to satire, but be careful that you don't do the opposite of what you set out to do. There is this weird reality of the truth thing going around among the Far Right, and it scares the heck out of me.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • hmmmm


      April 3, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      What Ziopublican means is that this country is for jews to cash in on a population of christians frequenting casinos and horehouses. the rest of the races and peoples are just refugees allowed in to clean the toilets and cook the burgers. I agree.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • GodsPeople

      @Ziopublican: You're incorrect. This country was founded by and is for white Christians.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      I like to lie and make stuff up just to piss people off. I'm a true Christian that way.

      April 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  3. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • ukin blome


      April 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Jesus

      ~No it doesn't 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 3, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
  4. engymass2

    The GOP does't have the Black vote, Hispanic vote, Jewish vote, Women's vote, Asian vote, or Muslim vote. Their a failed party and will fail in the fall.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • matt

      lol....you are sooo wrong

      April 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • retrostar1000

      I am looking forward to it 🙂

      April 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • Martin Walters Seattle

      and the ego maniac vote if you do not get out their and campaign fool !

      April 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • Tony

      But seriously, in the back of your mind...Aren't you really just a little concerned that it will be a clean sweep for the GOP – taking the senate and the presidency? I mean, look at what happened 2 years ago...And has anything really changed since then?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • JK

      Forget the muslim vote It is my firm belief that the present GOP is the prime enemy of America. I will ensure that before America fails the GOP fails. The best way to hurt GOP is to make them pay more

      April 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  5. Claude Slagenhop

    Remember Muslim Voters: What is the penalty for converting to Christianity? Remember this when you go to vote.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Dan

      There is none, and none for the other way around either. This is the United States of America, not a Muslim Caliphate or a Papal Autocracy.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  6. Jt_flyer

    That bread looks good.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • B(iraq) Hussein Osama

      its probably halal. I would nt go anywhere near it if i was you.

      April 4, 2012 at 2:37 am |
  7. jj

    Great, they'll help reelect President Obama!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • jerry9997

      Today its Arabs, last week it was Mexicans, the week before it was blacks, the week before it was women. There are too many news people with nothing to do that put this crap out. And no, I don't think anybody with an education would ever vote for Obama, just the teachers, unions, trial lawyers, blacks, and some hispanics. With an 18% unemployment or underemployment rate its time for him to leave.

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

      Jerry, does it upset you that the only majority of voters that the GOP holds is old white men?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  8. Maggie

    OMG, can't wait for the repub's to start their sucking up. Going to be extremely funny watching them kiss muslim butt !!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  9. Bill in Florida

    "Most Muslims voted for Bush in 2000 ..."

    Boy, can you say voter regret?

    April 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  10. Just Sayin

    Oh, how Muslim Americans wish their fear of then VP candidate Joe Lieberman hadn't made them vote for Bush....
    you know there were way more than 537 Florida Muslim votes for him in 2000. So ever since then you can count them as a solid
    majority bloc for the Democrats....especially with" Ground Zero Mosque" clowns still running around aka Newt and Rick.
    Can't wait till they swing a state like Ohio, Michigan,Pennsylvania or even Virginia.....love to see those Republicans cry!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      everybody wants to be me fraud alert

      April 3, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
  11. El Flaco

    Now THAT is hilarious.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • El Flaco

      So, American Muslims, who got the US out of Iraq.

      Who is promising to get Americans out of Syria?

      Who understands you better? Obama? Romney? Gingrich? Santorum?

      Who represents White, fundamentalist Christians who call you the anti-Christ and who ridicule your women for being modest?

      Answer the questions for yourself.

      Personally, I'm hoping for a 1964 style Democratic landslide and I don't believe that the Muslim vote – by itself – will re-elect Obama. I am hoping for a much more massive victory than that.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • jerry9997

      El flaco is dreaming, Obama will be out before the snow falls in January. No more giveaway programs, no more food stamps to buy drugs with, no more Obamacare, etc. That will be great.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Tony

      You keep hoping, El Flaco. Hope and change...Hope and change.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  12. Tony

    Don't know why any Muslims would vote for Obama... He has killed more of them than any other presidential candidate!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Bill in Florida

      R-i-i-i-i-i-i-ght. How about voting for Obama because Romney, Santorum, and Gingrich are itching to go to war with Iran? How about because Obama ended the war in Iraq and is winding down the war in Afghanistan? How about because Obama helped overthrown Moammar Gaddhafi? How about because Obama has reset relations with Muslims worldwide, repeatedly saying that the US is not at war with Islam?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:26 pm |
    • Tony

      Yup, and he's also personally approved countless drone attacks, killing so many local Pakistanis...But they were just collateral damage...And I'm sure that Obama apologized!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:33 pm |
  13. Doc M

    This'll get the tightie whitie righties undies in a knot!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  14. jonborg

    While many Muslims tend to be social conservative, like the Christians in this country, they won't vote for the Republican. Unfortunately, the rhetoric within the GOP is incredibly threatening to minority religions, especially Muslims. Maybe Muslims would vote Republican (like they did before 9/11) if the GOP wasn't so hateful.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • MikeB

      I disagree. The opposition to the Health Care Law is that it takes away religious conscience and becomes regulated by government. Unless Muslims have gotten a wink and a nod from Obama, they too should be concerned about their religious freedom in America.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  15. MikeB

    Do American Muslims want freedom for all Americans; regardless of Faith or Ideology?
    The foreign track record shows that Democracy is used as a tool by, a simple majority, to hand governance over to Tyranny.

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

      No more often than Armed civilains.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
  16. Atul Chaudhary

    1) Majority blacks vote democratic – Because White enslaved them.
    2) Majority Jews vote democratic – Because once upon a time they were slaves so they oppose Republicans (Whites).
    3) Majority Muslims vote democratic – They hate Christians and Republican party seems to have a Christian faith. Also they feel insecure with Republicans.
    4) Overwhelmingly Asian Indian vote democratic – Because Christian proselyte and Republican party seems to have a Christian faith.
    5) Most of the Europeans vote democratic – They have been raised up in a welfare system.
    6) Majority of Hispanics vote democratic – Because Republicans demand legal immigration.

    This is the worst our country can see because if some one is so prejudice about who they are going to vote on the basis of what happened few decades ago, we are going in the wrong direction.

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

      1) Majority blacks vote Democratic – Because Republicans are racist and treat them like shit.
      2) Majority Jews vote Democratic – Because Republicans are racist and treat them like shit.
      3) Majority Muslims vote Democratic – Republicans talk are racist and treat them like shit.
      4) Overwhelmingly Asian Indian vote Democratic – Republicans are racist and treat them like shit.
      5) Most of the Europeans vote Democratic – No, they live in Europe and vote in for parties that actually exist in their countries.
      6) Majority of Hispanics vote Democratic – Because Republicans are racist and treat them like shit.

      Therefore, the reason that minorities don't vote Republican is those nefarious Democrats.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • Bill in Florida

      Awesome Righteo!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • nestor

      you are complete wrong the jews vote democrat for hypocrisy they was the owner of the vessel than bring the slaves to the new world, the big irony was they bought the slaves from black in africa, everybody know the slaves trade was a best business in that time and the jews don't lose a good chance in business , like now in wall street. that the real reason why they vote democrat late repentance.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
  17. D.L. Kisting

    I have no time for these people. I firmly believe their mission put Obama in office.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • The Real Deal

      Actually, the royal disaster of the W Bush years is what elected Obama. It took eight stunningly bad years of right-wing decisions to get a black man elected president. And while Obama has basically been a mediocrity, he is massively better than W. Which unfortunately isn't saying much.

      And the next choice is the mediocrity on the left versus the clown car on the right. Lovely.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Eric

      Did you really just use the term "these people"? Wow...just wow...

      April 3, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  18. bob

    you have to be severely indoctrinated and mind numbed by the far left not to see the effect islam has always always had on a host society and culture... much of the muslim world makes the nazis look enlightened, anywhere there is a growing muslim population across the globe there is polarization and conflict , in europe today almost every country has a rapidly growing political party based on anti islam... islam & the west will never coexist peacefully and it is reasonable to perdict things are going to get far worse, there are irreconcilable differences and its time to face it and deal with it.

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

      And a good case in point would be what is going on in Europe currently.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
    • Steven Colo

      Bob, you blew it by saying "always". Back in 1492 when the Catholic Church was slaughtering and force-converting Jews, the Ottoman Empire opened up to the Jews and as a result, some of Europe's oldest Sephardic temples are in what is now Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. Back then, Islam was enlightened compared to the Dark Ages of Christianity.

      Things went peacefully between Jews and Muslims until the establishment of Israel in 1948.

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

      Steven Colo2
      lol who do you think your kidding ? anywhere islam is today you will find mosques built on the ruins of other religions islam always threatens and eventually destroys all cultures and religions & societies it infects always, it is a shocking blatant lie to say "Things went peacefully between Jews and Muslims until the establishment of Israel in 1948" islam's hate for jew is as old as the quran.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
    • Rick

      islam is currently the only religion that persecutes people for their faith.enlightened religion?really! living in delusion? Why would a tiny nation such as Israel bother you so much?

      April 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  19. Shayaan Ahmed Matin

    Here's the sad part of it all. Obama has struggled to an extent properly tackling both the domestic and foreign policy issues of the United States in his 4 years. But a majority of GOP candidates, with one notable exception, are so poor in terms of policies, consistency and approaches that Obama literally has to be elected for the good of the United States. Ron Paul for me is the guy that should have been president, hands down, but sadly that seems less likely every day.

    Also for those hating on the muslims. Remember this.

    Roughly 1 millenia ago, Christian crusaders, in vast numbers I might add, wiped out villages of innocent people, put religion into place by the sword and in the end defied their own religion. Does that mean that Christianity promotes shoving down religion in peoples throats?

    300-400 years ago, African slaves were forced to christianity and to go to church every weekend, and it was similar in certain British territories in Africa, Asia and so forth. Was that christianity? Certainly not.

    Adolf Hitler killed 6 million jews, and promoted ethnic and racial separation and discrimination. Does that mean christianity is extreme? Certainly not.

    Last year a man threatened to burn down the Quran (Koran), the equivalent of our bible. This was a pastor of a church. Does this mean christianity is an intolerant religion? certainly not.

    I implore you to see this in reverse for muslims though, and remember, regardless of religion, we are all people of this world. We have our own thoughts, our own motives. There is no true good or evil, just intentions and motives to get ahead.

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

      Read up history so that you don't find yourself so ignorant afterall about why there were crusades. Who started it? The Muslim conquests.

      Also currently the only intolerant religion in the world that persecutes people for their faith is islam.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • bob

      thats some extreme ignorance there the crusades where a response to the decades of slaughter of christians by arabs.... look into the crusades of islam try india 80 000 000 hindus slaughtered in the name of islam in india alone... istanbul or constantinople was the heart of christendom... you've got a lot of never to mention africa as there are several genocides in the work's committed by muslims against africans ... Adolf Hitler him self said he took inspiration from the armenian genocide... a pastor threatened to burn a book and the response was muslims across the globe acting like like rabid animals as in afghanistan they ripped the heads of the nearest white infidels they could get their hands on ... on & on ... get real it is 2012 the 21 century and it is islam and muslims across the globe that persecute and discriminate and murder non believers far far far more they anyother group

      April 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Mike

      It is hilarious to listen to people call others 'misinformed about the crusades', and then make completely false statements about the crusades, putting them forward to be truth. The Crusades were a response to Muslim conquest? Muslim conquest of the Holy Land happened in the seventh century. The Crusades didn't happen until over 400 years later. That would be akin to France invading the United States 100 years from now in response to the French and Indian War. So there's blatant lie number one. Muslim conquest of India? I'm pretty sure none of the Crusades went anywhere near India. Also, you talk about Constantinople being a beacon of Christianity until it was invaded and made into Istanbul. Well, that's fine. The only problem is, that happened hundreds of years AFTER the Crusades. In fact, the Crusaders stopped in Constantinople, which was still the capital of the Christian Byzantine Empire at that point. The Byzantine Emperor refused to join the Crusades, even though the Crusaders' mission was to take back the Holy Land, which had originally been Byzantine territory.

      Before you accuse people of ignorance, maybe you should know your facts.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Martin

      Can't help those who adamantly deny to look up history. Read up history and the muslim conquest before you jump centuries later to the crusades.

      The only religion in the world that is currently persecuting people for their faith is islam.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • bob

      your the one who is misinformed the first crusade involving european christians where entirely about resisting muslim advancement and the slaughter of christian pilgrim to the holy land crusade educate your self kook. islam is still on a crusade and jihad in africa and asia and again islam is not indigenous to india it arrived by conquest and slaughter = crusade.

      April 3, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  20. MidWestern Boy

    Interesting that religious and ethnic minority groups, (blacks, hispanics, Muslims) vote in blocks, for whomever will do the most for them or their cause.

    If whites did that, for whatever reason, of course the media would brand them as racists.......

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

      Um, no they wouldn't and they aren't while they already vote that way. That's what everybody does in an election. They vote for their best interest.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Maggie

      Hello....whites do do that. What a stupid comment. !!!!!

      April 3, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
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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.