The Shifting of the Muslim Vote

November 29, 2004

Source: Central Florida Future (University of Central Florida News)

On November 29, 2004 Central Florida Future (University of Central Florida) reported, "religion may have affected the decisions of many young Muslim voters, but not as strongly as foreign policy. 'The main issue Muslims care about is foreign policy because it affects them and their families overseas,' Ameer Zufari, vice president of UCF's Muslim Student Association, said. Abdullah Sheikh, a Muslim student and member of MSA, agreed. 'The block vote was much different this time than last time because last election the Muslim vote was geared toward social issues and this time it was international affairs,' Sheikh explained. He continued, 'There isn't a party that clearly identifies with Muslim needs.' Zufari and Sheikh's statements can be supported by facts. A Project MAPS/Zogby International poll released last month found that while 42 percent of the Muslim vote supported Bush in 2000, largely because his emphasis on family values fit nicely with their conservative leanings, in the 2004 election 72 percent of Muslims supported Kerry, often citing opposition to Bush's handling of Iraq. Another poll, conducted post-debate by the Washington-based Coalition on American-Islamic Relations, showed that 80 percent of likely Muslim voters planned on supporting Kerry."