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. SamTheTank

    Wing Nut voters could swing election, report also found. LMAO.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  2. Christine

    A Muslim told me today that "Muslims are everywhere now, we are growing, the only truly religion and wait and see next few years how we will grow and take over"

    April 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  3. Peter

    This article should be on the onion

    April 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  4. GreatKali

    Muslims are the scourge of the Earth. Their religion is non tolerance and violent.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • HenryB

      And you, GreatKali are?

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

      Replace the word Muslin with Christian and I agree!

      April 10, 2012 at 7:38 am |
  5. Worried

    Muslims should be exported to the countries they came from.... go to Dearborn, MI and Paterson, NJ they took over everything and try to wipe out Christian and Jews from the area.... they love their sharia laws too!!!!

    STOP MUSLIM IMMIGRATION!!! Look what happened in Europe

    April 3, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • HenryB

      Be afraid, be very afraid!! You know, of them people who don't look like us. Please give me a break.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • CRG

      What happened in Europe? The U.S. could learn from the progress of Europe and the E.U. Most countries in Western Europe deal better with poverty, health care and terrorism than the U.S. While democracy is under attack by the reactionary right in the U.S. it is still alive and well in Europe, especially in France, Germany, Eire and the United Kingdom. The greatest threat to this country is not Islam, but ignorance and fear.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  6. Pauline

    I thought Muslims didn't swing???

    April 3, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  7. Ben

    OK, if this is true, Obama's got this made.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  8. laila

    As a muslim....I vote for the person and what he stands for not the party...I would glad to vote for Ron Paul if he gets elected. I think one of the reasons most minority don't like republicans is bc most republicans are war mongers, too nationalistic, and believe America is the world and etc. Republicans party aren't what they used to be..Can't believe the intelligent of some candidates recently...

    April 3, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Muhil

      So you worship a ped.ophile right?

      April 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • laila

      I expect that from ignorants and racists who has nothing logical to say.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • menycoca@yahoo.com

      So what you are saying is it's wrong to be proud of America.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • laila

      of course you can be proud but not hateful and racist putting others down and etc. This country is built on immigrants, it is a melting pot, everyone came from somewhere. it is the reason everyone like to come and live here bc of freedom and opportunities otherwise there is going no different between here and other places.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  9. Muhil

    Burqa/Hijab should be BANNED in public places in America!!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • laila

      Do u even know what Hijab or burqa is? lol

      April 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Muhil

      Hijab is what the woman on the picture wear..... burqa is covering everything except the eyes

      April 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • laila

      you are right hijab is a head covering...many non Muslims wear it too such as Jews and Indians and etc. I hardly seen or heard of any muslims in the US who wears burqa...even in muslim countries most muslims don't wear burqa. So in a free society one group should be subject to ban wa etc

      April 3, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Yeahhh

    I'm glad to see more and more people are finally waking up and recognizing how much crap is spewed from American media. Thank God.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  11. nestor

    the muslim are in the crossroad some of them want vote democrat but they know the jews are very strong in the democrat party republican they don't trust much in them maybe independence , no way they love keep their women under strict control.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  12. ron

    Supposedly Ralph Nader swung the vote for Bush in Florida. This article is stupid. In any close election, there could be hundreds of so-called groups that would "swing" an election. Artists, bald men, women with false eye lashes, babies crying that kept their parents from voting–there is no end. This kind of analysis might be helpful in pandering to certain groups, but when the election is done, there would be thousands of ways to spin it.

    April 3, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  13. Peter

    Best comments of any CNN article in 2012 by far

    April 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
  14. Carlos Guzman

    so now CNN think that Muslims are the key for election, what about 75% of Caucasians, 12% of African american, 17% Hispanics vs <1% of Muslims. This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Muhil

      The numbers don't matter. Jews are only 2% of the U.S., yet they control 98% of the media, govn & power.
      Look at the calendar... they include Jewish holidays too despite being 2% only.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • † In God We Trust †

      Like Muhil said.... the numbers and percentages don't matter that much. Like the Jews, they have a power despite being minority.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Steve

      umm do you not realize Muslims can be caucasians, african americans, and hispanics?

      April 3, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Bryan

      That's not what the article says, braniac. Learn to read. The point is that after that large majority of Caucasians, Hispanics, etc. are counted, some states still get decided by a razor-thin margin. In that kind of situation, a small but growing group that is very motivated to vote and heavily favors one side or the other can make the difference. The Muslim polulation had grown tremendously in those razor-thin swing states in teh past 12 years, and they are trending Democratic. That is the point of the article – not that this 1% is more important than the other 99%.

      April 3, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  15. TexDoc

    I thought CNN told me Hispanics would tip the elections. Make up your mind which minority you're pandering too and stick with it.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
  16. ItSOnLyME

    Owners of Chinese Crested dogs may swing the election too. How about "people with brains may swing election"? In favor of Obama.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:52 pm |
  17. † In God We Trust †

    Large Muslim population in Paterson, NJ/NYC metro area.

    I thought there were ~ 6 million Muslims in the U.S.?

    April 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  18. ItSOnLyME

    "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."

    I would dispute that "fact" CNN. Just because the conservatives on the "Supreme" Court said so doesn't make it any less false. It was a judicial coup d'etat, nothing less.

    April 3, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • Jay G

      QQ more.

      April 3, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
  19. Me

    I have to confess I didn't read most of the article but the comments are funny

    April 3, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  20. Martin Walters Seattle

    No disrespect to Muslims, but this articles premise is way way out there. Next headline " Amish To Swing Election This Fall "

    April 3, 2012 at 6:45 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.