Motivated Muslim Voters Could Prove Consequential In Key Swing States

Although Muslim Americans make up only 1% of the U.S. population, their concentration in battleground states could determine the 2020 election.

10/31/2020 11:05:00 PM

Two polls found that Muslim voters in Arizona and Georgia, two swing states with sizable Muslim populations, were more motivated to vote in 2020 than ever before.

Although Muslim Americans make up only 1% of the U.S. population, their concentration in battleground states could determine the 2020 election.

run during the presidential primary season last spring by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. At the time, that Democratic support was split between Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden. Muslim support for President Donald Trump’s reelection sat at just 14% ― a clear minority albeit 10 percentage points higher than Muslim support for his election in 2016.

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Nationwide, more than 66% of Muslims identify as Democrats compared to only 13% who identify as Republicans, according to a2018 Pew Research poll.Since the rise of Trump, followed by the election of the most diverse Congress ever in 2018 ― including the nation’s first two Muslim congresswomen ― Democratic politicians have looked to embrace marginalized communities. Indeed, several presidential candidates in this election cycle made it

a point to visit mosqueson the campaign trail, hire Muslim staffers and speak at Muslim American conferences.“A lot of times you see that our community isn’t represented [but] it’s changing,” said Ahmed Soussi, the interim executive director for the Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, one of many organizations aiming to increase civic engagement among Arizona Muslims.

U.S. Immigration Policy CenterIn Georgia, Muslim voters chose hate crimes legislation as a top priority in a USIPC poll.In Arizona, more than 86% of Muslim voters said it was “absolutely essential” to have a president who understood the issues facing Muslims in the U.S., according to data from the USIPC. Many of these voters pointed to immigration, police brutality and health care reform as their top priorities.

In Georgia, Muslim voters wanted the same from the next president and focused in particular on racial justice issues.The Muslim communities in both states are made up of immigrant Muslims, Black Muslims, and recent refugee populations from the Middle East and Asia.

“Candidates on both the left and the right are taking into account what Muslims want,” saidUmer Rupani, executive director at the Georiga Muslim Voter Project. “So I do think that the Muslim community is a large enough and engaged enough voting bloc to swing elections.”

Small Margins Make Big ImpactsAcross the country, the Muslim vote has been increasing. In the swing states of Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia, the percentage of Muslim registered voters who turned out to votejumped about 20 to 30 percentage points

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from the 2014 to the 2018 midterm elections.Florida now has approximately 150,000 registered Muslim voters, said Nadia Ahmad, the co-founder of Muslim Delegates and Allies Coalition and a co-director of Muslims for Biden’s 50-state voter mobilization effort.

“Politicians are looking to see who is voting. Regardless of who wins the state, what’s going to matter is who went out and voted. So if we can draw out our community in droves to go to the polls, it’s going to show that our community has electoral power,” said Ahmad. Voter turnout will also impact policies “whether that’s up to the federal level or state level or the local level,” she said.

Ahmad, who called this year’s level of civic engagement by Muslims unprecedented, pointed to the 2000 election, which was ultimately decided by 537 Florida votes, as evidence that Muslim voters can have impact. That same year, George Bush receivedapproximately 14,000 more Muslim votes

in the Sunshine State than his opponent Al Gore.Virginia Baker and her husband Essam Khattab, both 34 and both Biden supporters in Florida, said it was important for them to vote due to their state’s potential influence in deciding presidential elections. Baker has been voting since she turned 18 and Khattab, a new citizen from Egypt, said politics is all they have been talking about for months.

“I think for both of us, we realize democracy can be very fragile. ... And I think the bare minimum that you can do is cast your vote,” said Baker, adding: “For me, it was just really important to at least have my say and who I wanted and how I want the next four years to look.”

Organizers in the state are pleased with the newfound motivation among Muslim voters.“It amazes me that you know the community feels like they have a voice now. It’s a beautiful thing to see,” said Vetnah Monessar, a Florida-based community organizer and the founder of MASA, an organization that seeks to advance equity for Muslims in the state.

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“There’s a lot of reasons why the community should get out to vote, especially when we’re a targeted community ― from the Muslim ban to hate crimes to our communities being disregarded. I think this is a moment to show that we are part of the fabric of American society and the American community at large and now we bring an asset to the United States,” Monessar added.

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Motivated Muslim Voters Could Prove Consequential In Key Swing StatesTwo polls found that Muslim voters in Arizona and Georgia, two swing states with sizable Muslim populations, were more motivated to vote in 2020 than ever before. No thank you very much for your work It's very wrong of HuffPost to group all 'Muslims' together as one... everyone is different.

Motivated Muslim Voters Could Prove Consequential In Key Swing StatesAlthough Muslim Americans make up only 1% of the U.S. population, their concentration in battleground states could determine the 2020 election. are you trying to get them killed wtf huffpo I hope they have a big F U to Trump. I truly hope that the next generation of Muslims will be capable enough to elect the president from among them

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Thousands across Muslim world protest French President Macron's commentsAnger has been growing over France’s defence of the cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad, objections over which centre on the intent to ridicule Islam at large in a country where overtly practicing can come hand-in-hand with discrimination. MaşaAllah kardeşlerimize.