Muslim Voters and the Election

November 2, 2000

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

On November 2, 2000, The Christian Science Monitor reported that "Muslim Americans are grabbing the attention of both parties in the presidential campaign because of where they reside. Concentrated in 'battleground states' such as Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, California, and Texas, Muslims could make a difference in the outcome, pollster John Zogby says. With the two candidates running neck and neck in Michigan, for example, both George W. Bush and Al Gore have courted local groups of the estimated 275,000-strong Arab-American community (one-half Christian) and the 450,000 Muslims in the state. Two organizations from these Michigan communities recently endorsed Governor Bush. 'A lot of it is access,' says Kay Siblani, of the Michigan chapter of Council of American-Islamic Relations. 'I think people here feel the Republican party in general and Bush in particular will prove to be more flexible on foreign policy in the Middle East.' Encouraged by their potential to be a swing vote, a coalition of national Muslim organizations is urging their communities to consider voting in a bloc. On Oct. 23, the political action committee of the American Muslim Political Coordination Committee (AMPCC-PAC) also endorsed Bush, citing his outreach to the Muslim community, his stand on an important domestic issue, and their expectation of greater flexibility on foreign policy issues... The Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently released results of a poll which showed a major shift in Muslim preferences since June. In the latest poll, 40 percent of eligible voters support Bush, 25 percent favor Ralph Nader (of Lebanese descent), and 24 percent support Gore."