April 6, 2012
Although Muslims represent less than one in every 100 Americans, a new study shows their votes could sway the results of this year's presidential election, CNN reports. There are about 1.2 million registered Muslim voters in the United States, mostly concentrated in a number of key swing states, says Farid Senzai, the author of the study. Florida and Ohio -- two states that have been decided by tiny margins in recent years -- have enough Muslim voters to make a difference in the final result, and the next-largest Muslim populations are found in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Virginia, all of which could also be key battleground states between President Obama and his Republican opponent. In Florida in 2000, Bush won by 537 votes -- while one get-out-the-vote phone bank contacted 23,000 Muslims in one day alone during elections in 2008 and 2010. Nauman Abbasi of Emerge USA, which ran the phone bank, said efforts like his were effective in increasing Muslim voter turnout. More religious Muslims and those more involved in their mosques are the most likely to vote, the study found. Most Muslims voted for Bush in 2000, Democratic Sen. John Kerry in 2004 and Obama in 2008, and they are more likely than the population as a whole to approve of Obama's performance now.