WASHINGTON – A nationwide survey of Muslim voters on the upcoming presidential election was released on Thursday, October 13, indicating a majority of Muslims planning to vote on November 8, sharing concern about issues such as civil rights, education, the economy, bullying, a proposed ban on Muslims entering the US, and national security.
“Our survey results indicate that presidential candidates still have time to appeal to American Muslim voters by addressing issues such as the erosion of civil rights and growing Islamophobia,” Robert McCaw, Government Affairs Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), said in a statement sent to AboutIslam.net.
CAIR released the results of the nationwide survey Thursday which showed 86 percent of the registered Muslim voters in the US say they plan to vote in the Nov. 8 presidential election.
It also found that 72 percent of American Muslim voters plan to cast their votes for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, compared to 4 percent for Republican rival Donald Trump.
Three percent intend to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein and 2 percent plan to support Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson.
The survey also shows that 85 percent of Muslims believe that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment have increased in the US in the past year.
CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad attributes the perceived rise to politicians like Trump, former Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Ted Cruz, and “ideologues around them who have allowed this Islamophobia to mushroom.”
Moreover, it shows that 30 percent of Muslims said they felt they were discriminated against in the past year, Awad added, citing reports of apparent discrimination at public places such as airports, as well as vandalizing of mosques and hate-crime-related murders of Muslims.
“These numbers tell a story of a Muslim community that is hopeful and worried at the same time, worried that the national political discourse has deteriorated so much that they feel unsure about their future as American citizens because of the threats of having special policies that will be designed to target them,” Awad said at a Washington news conference.
Winning meager support of Muslims, only 6 percent, Muslims said they have a negative perception of the Republican Party with sixty-two percent of those surveyed saying it was unfriendly toward Muslims, an increase from 51 percent in 2012.
More than 800 Muslim voters were queried for the pre-election survey between Sept. 7 and Oct. 5. CAIR said the survey has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Highlights of the survey:
* 86 percent of registered Muslim voters intend to vote in this year’s presidential election.
* 12 percent of Muslim voters are still undecided about who to vote for in this presidential election.
* 72 percent of Muslim voters said they will vote to elect Hillary Clinton, while 4 percent said they will vote for Donald Trump, 3 percent will vote for Jill Stein, and 2 percent will vote for Gary Johnson.
* The percentage of those Muslim voters who said they are closer to the Democratic Party remained constant, from 66 percent in a similar poll taken in 2012, to 67 percent today, after having increased from 49 percent in a similar poll taken in 2008.
* Affiliation with the Republican Party remained relatively steady at 6 percent today, 9 percent in 2012 and 8 percent in 2008.
* 62 percent of respondents said that the Republican Party was unfriendly toward Muslims (compared to 51 percent in 2012), while 2 percent said that the Democratic Party was unfriendly (compared to 6 percent in 2012).
* The top six most important issues to American Muslim voters are civil rights, education, jobs and the economy, protecting students from bullying and harassment, a proposed ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S., and terrorism and national security.
* 91 percent of respondents believe that Donald Trump’s proposed temporary ban on Muslim travelers entering the U.S. is the wrong decision and only 3 percent, within the margin of error, believe that it is the right decision.
* 85 percent of respondents believe that Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. has increased in the past year. Moreover, 30 percent of respondents say they have experienced discrimination or profiling in the past year.
* 82 percent of Muslim voters support Syrian refugees resettling in the U.S.
* Almost half of Muslim voters, 47 percent, said that the U.S. did not provide enough support in the past year to combat and defeat the terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria
* More than half, 62 percent, of those polled attend a mosque at least once a month.
* 66 percent of respondents say they have a four-year or graduate degree.