Poll: Obama Has Strong Lead Over Romney Among Arab Americans

Arab American Institute President Jim Zogby (file photo)Arab American Institute President Jim Zogby (file photo)
Arab American Institute President Jim Zogby (file photo)
Arab American Institute President Jim Zogby (file photo)
Cindy Saine
The Arab American Institute has released the results of a September survey of 400 Arab Americans, which shows that a majority support Democratic President Barack Obama in the race for the White House.  There has been a significant 15 percent drop in support for Obama compared with his strong numbers in 2008, but Republicans are not making gains with Arab American voters either.  

There is good news and bad news for President Barack Obama in a recent poll of Arab American voters conducted by the Arab American Institute.  AAI President Jim Zogby said the president enjoys a 24 percentage point leader over his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

"In this particular election, in the head-to-head between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the president has a substantial 52 percent to 28 percent lead.  There are about 5 percent voting for minority candidates and about 16 percent who are not sure," said Zogby.

But, the bad news for the president is that 15 percent of Arab Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 have not yet declared their support for the president in this election.

The poll results also holds some bad news for Romney and Republicans - that their support among Arab Americans is steadily declining.

"The Republican numbers dropped from 27 [percent] to 22 [percent] from 2008, but the margin of Democrat over Republican still being more than two to one,  continues the trend that we saw from 2002 where the gap between the parties began to open up," said Zogby.

Zogby said that he attributes the growing gap in Arab American support for Republicans compared to Democrats, which began in 2002, to former President George W. Bush's policies on Iraq and the Middle East, and on civil liberty issues in the United States.  A growing number of Arab Americans, 24 percent, identify themselves as Independents.

Zogby said neither the Democratic nor the Republican Party has done much to reach out to Arab Americans in the 2012 campaign.  Arab Americans make up about 0.5 percent of voters who will cast a vote in the November 6 general election.

Zogby said that, just like other Americans, Arab Americans are primarily concerned about jobs and the economy, while 27 percent said foreign policy is important.

"When we asked what the most important issues were, the economy clearly was the number one concern," he said.

The survey shows that a strong majority of Arab Americans feel secure in their current jobs, and most Arab Americans express confidence that their children will live better lives than they do.  But almost half of Arab Americans are concerned about facing some form of discrimination because of their origin.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanoni
John Owens
October 08, 2015 7:32 PM
Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video Self-Driving Cars Getting Closer

We are at the dawn of the robotic car age and should start getting used to seeing self-driving cars, at least on highways. Car and truck manufacturers are now running a tight race to see who will be the first to hit the street, while some taxicab companies are already planning to upgrade their fleets. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Clinton Seeks to Boost Image Before Upcoming Debate

The five announced Democratic party presidential contenders meet in their first debate next Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton continues to lead the Democratic field, but she is getting a stronger-than-expected challenge from Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video South Carolina Reels Under Worst-ever Flooding

South Carolina is reeling from the worst flooding in recorded history that forced residents from their homes and left thousands without drinking water and electricity. Parts of the state, including the capital, Columbia, received about 60 centimeters of rain in just a couple of days. Authorities warn that the end of rain does not mean the end of danger, as it will take days for the water to recede. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs