Just two years ago, Muslims were reported to make up 1% of the U.S. population but that is said to be changing and at a quick pace. Emerge USA places the number at closer to 2%, and according to the Washington Post, this increase is significant and may affect the upcoming presidential election in November.
Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia “alone add up to almost 1 million Muslim voters,” says civil rights attorney Khurrum Wahid. “With a decent voter turnout in those states, Muslims will be the swing vote in both the presidential and many close House races.”
“Most Muslim Americans now lean Democratic,” according to the Washington Post. “In past decades, many were fiscally conservative, pro-family and eager to see their cities get tough on crime. Surveys conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the American Muslim Alliance in the aftermath of Bush’s 2000 election found that between 72 percent and 80 percent of Muslims polled said that they had voted for him. But after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Bush’s rhetoric on religion and decision to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, the majority began voting Democratic.”
Last month, Farooq Mitha was named Hillary Clinton’s Muslim outreach director (a notable first for a presidential campaign). The campaign also recently appointed two top-level Muslim outreach coordinators who will be focusing on the swing states — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, and Huma Abedin, Clinton’s close adviser and deputy campaign manager.
“The Clinton campaign is more inclusive of the Muslim community than any presidential campaign that I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Ellison recently told a Muslim group which included doctors, lawyers, college students, Palestinian Americans, Guyanese Americans, Kenyan Americans and others.
Oz Sultan, a counterterrorism analyst and commentator, calls himself a “lifelong conservative” and says he will be voting for Donald Trump. “I don’t think Hillary Clinton has the ability to keep our country safe.” Islamic scholar, Azhar Subedar, adds, “I know, personally, three doctors” [who will be voting for him].
The Washington Post notes: “The Trump campaign did not respond to questions about whether it is also trying to attract Muslim voters or considers the constituency a potential tipping point in any swing states.”