How will US Muslims vote in the 2016 presidential election?

Published February 2nd, 2016 - 08:39 GMT

Nearly three-quarters of the US Muslim voters intend to participate in primary elections this year and a large majority plan to support the Democratic Party, according to a new survey.

According to a survey released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) late Monday, around 74 percent of Muslim voters polled said they will be voting in upcoming primary elections, and 67 percent said they will vote for Democratic Party candidates. More than half of respondents said they’d vote for Hillary Clinton and 22 percent back Bernie Sanders. The survey was published hours before the Iowa caucuses.

CAIR’s Muslim voter survey also indicated that more than half of respondents said they would support Hillary Clinton in the elections (51.62%), followed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (22.03%) and Donald Trump (7.47%).

CAIR’s survey included almost 2,000 registered Muslim voters in California, New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas, and Virginia all are states with the highest Muslim populations. It was conducted January 26 using an independent automated call survey provider and asked four questions.

Questions in the survey included "Do you plan to vote in your upcoming state primary election?", the second was "Which political party do you plan to support in your upcoming state primary election?", the third question was "Based on your party support which candidate do you plan to vote for in the upcoming state primary election?" while the last questions was "What is the most important issue to you in the 2016 presidential election?".

"The increase in the number of Muslim voters who say they will go to the polls in their primary elections indicates a high level of civic participation that may be driven at least in part by concern over the rise in Islamophobia nationwide," said CAIR Government Affairs Manager Robert McCaw.

The number of Muslim voters who say they will turn out for the primary elections is higher than in a similar poll for the 2014 midterm elections.

McCaw noted that on April 18, CAIR will join other members of the US Council of Muslim Organizations (USCMO), a coalition of leading national and local American Muslim organizations, at the second annual National Muslim Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. USCMO recently announced a drive to register one million voters prior to the 2016 presidential election.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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