America’s Muslim voters are a young, highly educated and prosperous voting bloc that will overwhelmingly back Democrats in November, according to a survey released yesterday by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
They are also coming of age in terms of political representation. Next month, Democratic nominee Keith Ellison of Minneapolis is poised to become the first Muslim member of the House of Representatives. He says, if elected, he will take his oath of office with his hand on the Koran instead of the Bible.
With their large families and socially conservative leanings, Muslims mirror the GOP’s demographic profile. Seventy-eight percent of those interviewed were married. Of those respondents, 83 percent had at least one child and 54 percent reported two or three children. Muslims had an average of 4.5 members per family, contrasted with a 2005 Census Bureau figure estimating the number of family members in an average American household at 3.14.
But ideologically, their differences with Republicans are vast. Sixty-six percent favor normalization of relations with Iran, 55 percent are afraid the “war on terror” has morphed into a war on Islam, just 12 percent think the war in Iraq is worthwhile and only 10 percent support the use of the military to spread democracy.
The survey, conducted in August by Genesis Research Associates of Descanso, Calif., polled 1,000 American Muslims; 687 men and 313 women in 42 states. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. CAIR said the sex disparity is the result of men being more willing to participate.
The survey showed a voter bloc concentrated in 12 states with the most (20 percent) living in California. Seventy percent of the respondents were born overseas. Of those, 40 percent are from the Middle East; 33 percent from Pakistan, India or Bangladesh; 6 percent from Africa; 5 percent from Iran; and 3 percent from Europe. The rest either refused to name a country or named another part of the globe.
Forty-two percent of those polled said they were Democrats, 17 percent were Republicans and the rest either belonged to another party, no party or refused to answer.