WASHINGTON – A new survey has found a considerable number of Arab-American Muslims say they will vote for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, despite his controversial anti-Muslim comments.
“(But) there are people who are culturally Republican and simply cannot bring themselves to vote for a Democrat,” Jim Zogby, co-founder and president of the Arab American Institute, which commissioned the poll, told USA Today on Monday, October 24.
The recent Zogby Analytics survey said 12% of Arab-American Muslims said they’d vote for the GOP nominee.
Sixty-seven percent said they’d vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s support was higher among Arab-American Catholics (20% for him and 63% for Clinton) and Protestants and other Christians (48% for him and 42% for Clinton), according to the survey of 502 Arab Americans, scheduled for release Tuesday.
Though Zogby expected the conflict in the Middle East to affect the vote, the Trump-Clinton divide among Arab-American Catholics is roughly the same as it is among Arab-American Muslims.
“You might expect that a candidate who is anti-Muslim might generate some support among Christians,” Zogby said.
“That turned out not to be the case.”
Overall, 60% of likely Arab-American voters said they back Clinton. They most often cited their support for Clinton’s domestic policies and their opposition to Trump.
The 26% who said they’re for Trump tended to cite their opposition to Clinton and party affiliation. Jobs and the economy were the top concerns among those surveyed.
The survey, conducted Oct. 4-12, has a margin of error of +/-4.5 percentage points.
The most recent American Community Survey conducted by the US Census Bureau estimated the Arab-American population at close to 2 million, though the Arab American Institute says it’s much higher, at 3.7 million.
Among those surveyed, 91% said they’re likely to vote on November 8.