Poll: U.S. Muslim Voters Diverse, Integrated, Politically Active

Muslims support interfaith outreach, Palestinian cause – oppose terror, war in Iraq

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/24/06) – A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today released the results of a survey indicating that Muslim voters are religiously diverse, well integrated in American society, politically active, and lean toward the Democratic Party.

The survey, sponsored by the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), asked 1000 registered Muslim voters about their demographic profiles, political views and levels of social integration. Respondents were randomly drawn from a pool of some 400,000 registered Muslim voters. The survey, conducted by Genesis Research Associates, has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.

The full results of CAIR’s survey may be viewed at: http://www.cair.com/pdf/American_Muslim_Voter_Survey_2006.pdf

SEE: CAIR Rep Discusses Poll Results on C-SPAN’s ‘Washington Journal’
rtsp://video.c-span.org/15days/wj102406.rm (Start Time: 36:30)

American Muslim Voter Characteristics:

  • Young: About 47 percent are ages 35-54. Another 20 percent are ages 25-34.
  • Highly Educated Professionals: Sixty-two percent have obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher. About half are professionals.
  • Middle Class: Forty-three percent have a household income of $50,000 or higher.
  • Family Oriented: Seventy-eight percent are married. Eighty-three percent have one or more children.
  • Religiously Diverse: Thirty-one percent attend a mosque on a weekly basis. Sixteen percent attend a mosque once or twice a month. Twenty-seven percent said they seldom or never attend a mosque. Most respondents said they consider themselves “just Muslims,” avoiding distinctions between Sunni or Shia. Thirty-six percent said they are Sunni and 12 percent said they are Shia. Less than half of one percent said they are “Salafi,” while two percent said they are “Sufi.”
  • Well Integrated in American Society: Eighty-nine percent said they vote regularly. Eighty-six percent said they celebrate the Fourth of July. Sixty-four percent said they fly the U.S. flag. Forty-two percent said they volunteer for institutions serving the public, compared to 29 percent of all Americans in 2005.
  • Democratic or Independent Voters: There is no clear majority in party membership. Forty-two percent said they consider themselves members of the Democratic Party. Seventeen percent said they are Republican and 28 percent said they do not belong to any party.

American Muslim Voter Views on Issues:

  • Eighty-four percent said Muslims should emphasize more strongly the values they share with Christians and Jews.
  • Eighty-two percent said terrorist attacks harm American Muslims.
  • Seventy-seven percent said Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews.
  • Sixty-nine percent believe a just resolution to the Palestinian cause would improve America’s standing in the Muslim world.
  • Sixty-six percent support working toward normalization of relations with Iran.
  • Fifty-five percent are afraid that the war on terror has become a war on Islam.
  • Only 12 percent believe the war in Iraq was a worthwhile effort, and just 10 percent support the use of the military to spread democracy in other countries.

“It is clear from our survey that American Muslim voters defy simplistic labeling and maintain an independent streak that should be taken into account by any candidate for public office,” said CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad.

Awad said CAIR’s survey also indicated that Muslim voters are concentrated in 12 states: California, 20 percent; Illinois, 8.9 percent; New York, 8.6 percent; Texas, 7 percent; New Jersey, 6.8 percent; Michigan, 6.7 percent; Florida, 6.4 percent; Virginia, 6.3 percent; Maryland, 3.1 percent; Ohio, 3 percent; Pennsylvania, 2.9 percent; and Minnesota, 2.8 percent.

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