Political analysts say Muslim voters can make a difference in this year’s presidential election in states with closely divided electorates such as Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Muslims are also an influential minority among African Americans, and many are concerned about the recent anti-Muslim rhetoric by some Republican candidates. “So this year, we’re really going to be focused on getting out the vote and raising our percentage of registered voters in America, so we can show the power of our voice,” says Los Angeles community activist Umar Hakim.
Political analyst Dan Schnur says the best American leaders are those who “articulate the strong stance and a smart plan to restrain terrorist activity while still making it clear that that the overwhelming majority of Muslims, both in the United States and elsewhere, are in fact peaceful people who hold no support for the terrorists.” He added that, unfortunately it is becoming more difficult finding those leaders.
According to a 2012 survey by the Council on American Islamic Relations, more than 85% of Muslim voters voted for Democrat Barack Obama in the last presidential election. Schnur says that attracting minority voters should be part of any winning political strategy since Muslim voters can make a difference in a close election, especially in swing states.