September 15, 2004


Bush Gains on Kerry for Arab-American Vote (Jim Lobe, Sep 15, 2004, IPS)

Despite the worsening situation in Iraq and the continued impasse between Israel and the Palestinians, U.S. President George W. Bush has cut Sen. John Kerry's previously substantial lead among Arab-American voters in four key swing states, according to a new survey released here Wednesday.

As recently as July, Kerry led Bush by better than a two-to-one margin -- or 54 percent to 24.5 percent -- among more than half a million Arab-American voters in Michigan, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania in a two-man race.

His lead has now fallen to 49 percent, compared to 31.5 percent for Bush, according to the poll, which was conducted by Zogby International for the Washington-based Arab American Institute (AAI).

A particularly high 20 percent of Arab-American voters, however, remain undecided, according to the new poll. For the broader public, only about 10 percent of the votes are still considered up for grabs at this stage of the campaign.

If independent candidate Ralph Nader, who is himself an Arab American, is included in the tally, Kerry's support would decline to 47 percent, while Bush's would be undiminished, according to the poll, which was based on interviews with 502 Arab-American registered voters in the four states, which are broadly representative of the 3.5 million Arab-Americans who are citizens.

Arab-American Voters, Key In Ohio, Michigan, Shifting Back To Bush (BRIAN MITCHELL, 9/16/04, INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY)
In many ways, Arab-Americans are natural Republicans. They're often enterprising, well-to-do, family-oriented and socially conservative. On many issues, they're right in sync with the GOP.

"There's a whole gamut of issues (on which) the Arab-American community agrees with the Republican Party," said Khamis, who lives in San Jose, Calif., and is president of California's Republican Arab American Congress. "It's just that we definitely don't agree with the way we're running foreign policy."

Hardly any Arab-Americans do. The Zogby poll shows just 10% rate Bush excellent or good on Israel and Palestine versus 82% who rate him fair or poor.

That explains Bush's poor showing among Arab-American Muslims, about 24% of all Arab-Americans. Just 5% say Bush deserves to be re-elected. A whopping 91% would like to elect someone else.

"There's tremendous disappointment with President Bush's lack of follow-through on the Palestine issue and Israel," said Bill Aossey, a third-generation Arab-American Muslim from Cedar Rapids, Iowa. "The Bush administration has basically said to (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon, 'Do what you want.' "

Muslims polled favor Kerry 70% to 3%. "I would expect a more civil approach to a discussion (from Kerry)," Aossey said.

But 27% of Muslim Arab-Americans and 20% of all Arab-Americans are still undecided.

"They kinda don't know where to go," said James Zogby, president of the Arab American Institute. "They're not happy with the president for sure. They're also not happy with John Kerry."

Just 3% of Arab-Americans backing Kerry like him as a man. Fully half are voting against Republicans.


Posted by Orrin Judd at September 15, 2004 8:09 PM

> 3%?

Assuming a margin of error of +/-4.5%, as few as -1.5% like him. I think that would be a record.

Posted by: Bob Hawkins at September 15, 2004 8:55 PM

Heh. Good one.

Posted by: M Ali Choudhury at September 16, 2004 4:34 AM

This is not all that surprising. Iraqi-Americans, who are mostly refugees from the Hussein tyrrany or the children thereof, were very supportive of the liberation of Iraq. Might many other Arab-Americans also be refugees ("I moved here to get away from those people!") who support draining the Mideast fever swamps?

Posted by: Mike Morley at September 16, 2004 5:50 AM
« AN IL WIND: | Main | THAT MAN: »