New Poll Shows Arab-Americans Favor Obama over McCain in Presidential Race Mohamed Elshinnawi
"Jews And Arabs In The Same Political Party,Who Could Have Guessed ?"
A new nationwide poll shows that among likely Arab-American voters in November's U.S. presidential election, Democratic candidate Sen. Barack Obama holds a 21-point lead over Republican candidate Sen. John McCain. Mohamed Elshinnawi has more on what pollsters are calling an historic shift among Arab-Americans toward the Democratic Party.
James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute, announces results of a new poll or Arab-American voters showing Barack Obama holds a 21-point lead over John McCain
Arab-American voters align very closely with other Americans on domestic issues such as the economy, jobs, health care and education. But an opinion survey by the private polling group Zogby International found that dissatisfaction with the domestic and foreign policyperformance of the Bush administration is eroding the Republican Party base among a majority of Arab-American voters.
James Zogby, brother of pollster John Zogby, is president of the Arab American Institute, which commissioned the survey released Sept. 18. James Zogby says the results confirm there is an important ideological shift taking place among Arab-American voters.
"The floor has fallen out [from] underneath the Republican Party," he says. "They have half of the strength this year that they had in 2000, and this is not a surprise. You pursue bad policies, and you get bad results."
Zogby notes that in the 2000 U.S. presidential election, the overall Arab-American vote was 44 percent for Republican George W. Bush and 38 percent for Democrat Al Gore. But this year, the survey shows 54 percent favor Obama, and just 33 percent support McCain.
Arab-American Vote Could Affect Election Outcome in Some States
Zogby says this margin could be decisive in the so-called swing states, where the contest between Democrats and Republicans is close, and where those Arab-American votes can make a big difference in the election outcome.
"I think in Michigan it will be a very significant impact, and that is why the campaigns are paying so much attention to Arab-American voters in Michigan," Zogby says. "They are 4 to 5 percent of the vote."
Zogby says Arab-Americans also can make a difference in Virginia, Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania.
In the eastern swing states of Virginia and Ohio, Arab-American voters comprise almost 2 percent of the vote. Zogby says the survey showed the most important issues for Arab-American voters are jobs and the economy, followed by the war in Iraq, Middle East peace and health care.
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