News / USA

Arab-Americans Favor Democrats in New Poll

Survey finds voters prefer Democrats in all areas, including the economy, fighting terrorism and civil liberties

A new survey finds Arab-Americans favor a Democratic-controlled Congress, and believe Democrats would do a better job than Republicans.
A new survey finds Arab-Americans favor a Democratic-controlled Congress, and believe Democrats would do a better job than Republicans.

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Mohamed Elshinnawi

Just one month before the 2010 midterm elections, a new public opinion poll shows that Arab-American voters favor Democrats over Republicans by a wide margin. The survey also finds that discrimination against Arab Americans appears to be on the rise.



Americans  go to the polls next month to cast their votes against during a time of continued economic distress and unresolved conflicts across the Middle East. Arab Americans, once considered a political swing group, are now solidly in the Democratic camp, according to the new survey by Zogby International, which was sponsored by the Arab American Institute.

Favoring Democrats

James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, points to foreign policy and civil rights as major reasons for the community's support of the Democratic party.

"It is not the party that made the war in Iraq. It is not the party that supported the devastation of Lebanon. It is not the party that supported and wrote the PATRIOT act and supported the abuse of civil liberties," says Zogby

The survey shows that Arab-Americans support Democrats two-to-one over Republicans on national security, fighting terrorism and the economy. On the issue of civil liberties, the margin is three-to-one in favor of the Democrats.

The survey was conducted during the last week of September, following weeks of controversy over plans by a Muslim group to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque - called Park 51 - near the site of the World Trade Center.

Many opponents of the project were conservative Republicans, who said building a mosque there would be insensitive to the families of those killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks. Zogby says that reinforced Arab-Americans' tendency to lean toward the Democrats.

Discrimination

Nearly half of those polled also report experiencing discrimination.

"When we asked Arab-Americans, 41 percent said they have been discriminated against because of their ethnicity. They are sensitive to these issues because they know when it does not smell right , does not feel right," says Zogby. "People are not going to vote Park 51, that is not going to be the cause of the vote, but it has created an atmosphere which reinforces a sense of not being welcomed, of not being included."

Zogby says the Arab-American vote in the midterm elections will be significant in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California and Florida, where there are large Arab-American communities. He expects a very significant impact in Michigan, where Arab-Americans make up five percent of registered voters.

Increased participation

Hassan Jaber, executive director of the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services in Michigan, says one of the center's goals is to increase Arab-American political participation in the state.

"Detroit is one of the largest Arab-American communities in the nation and the community is extremely dynamic and engaged," says Jaber. "We have seen more engagement in the political process and obviously the Arab-American community has a lot of economic clout in Detroit, so it is significant. We work with community leaders in making sure that we maximize the engagement of Arab-Americans and that there will be coordination among Arab-American organizations."

According to Jaber, similar efforts are being made in many other Arab-American communities throughout the U.S., but there is a special focus on Michigan.

"There are scheduled fundraising events almost every evening this week, there is, in Michigan, recognition of the size and of the power of Arab-Americans and we are very happy with the level of engagement."

Jaber says candidates often attend these fundraising events, where Arab-American voters express their concerns over the rising trend of discrimination and the racial profiling of Arabs and Muslims at American airports.

The Zogby poll indicates that jobs and the economy are the top priority for 70 percent of Arab-American voters, followed by the war in Iraq, Middle East peace efforts and other foreign policy concerns.

On virtually every one of these issues, respondents said that the Democrats would do a better job than the Republicans and that they favor a Democratic-controlled Congress. Mid-term elections will be held on November 2, 2010.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid