American Muslims' support for the Democratic Party fell by 12% since 2018, while the Republican Party gained 2%, according to a survey by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
Poll results released on Monday showed that Muslim voters who identify with the Democratic Party decreased from 78% to 66% over the past two years, while those supporting the Republican Party slightly moved up to 19%.
The CAIR survey had 846 Muslim respondents who were interviewed via phone on Sept. 30, a day after the first presidential debate. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3%.
An overwhelming majority of the respondents – 89% – said they intend to vote in the forthcoming presidential elections, with only 5% still undecided.
A total of 71% of the respondents said they would vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, while 18% were in favor of re-electing Donald Trump.
Some 59% of the survey respondents believed that Biden won the first presidential debate on Sept. 29, 14% viewed it as Trump’s night, and 21% said they were unsure due to the chaotic nature of the discussion.
A majority of the American Muslim respondents – 65% – believe that the Democrats are most concerned about protecting religious freedoms, addressing racial inequality (67%), providing accessible health care (72%), and treating all immigrants equally (72%).
For the Republicans, the percentage remained between 15% to 19% in all four areas.
Islamophobia on the rise
A total of 67% of the survey respondents said Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments have increased in the US over the past four years during the Trump presidency.
Some 15% believed the opposite, while 18% preferred not to answer.
Nearly half of the respondents – 45% – found the Democratic Party to be generally friendly towards Muslims, followed by 44% who feel that it is neutral, and 14% who feel that it is unfriendly.
Only 16% viewed the Republican Party as friendly towards Muslims, 24% feel that it is neutral, and 61% said it is unfriendly.
''Our survey clearly shows that more registered Muslim voters intend to vote in this presidential election than in 2016, and that the majority of those voters favor former Vice President Joe Biden in comparison to re-electing President Donald Trump'' said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert S. McCaw.
''That said, Muslim voters are equally social liberals and fiscal conservatives, indicating that both major political parties should be doing more to reach out to and engage Muslims in this and every election.''
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