Back in March, we noted that Arab-American Voters had been abandoning Bush in key swing states.
A new nationwide poll of Americans of Middle Eastern descent, commissioned by Amnesty International and New California Media, reveal that support for the President amongst Arab Americans has dropped precipitously. “A majority of Arab Americans strongly opposes President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war and many favor Democratic candidate Sen. John Kerry in this year’s presidential election.” In 2000, then Governor Bush won a majority of the Arab-American vote.
Given the concentration of Arab Americans in swing states such as Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, this development could have a significant impact on the outcome of the election.
The poll’s internals are quite revealing. The San Francisco Chronicle noted among the poll’s findings:
— 73 percent of Arab Americans gave Bush negative marks on his Iraq policy; 60 percent rate his handling of Iraq as “poor” while another 13 percent rated his performance as “mediocre.”
— 55 percent of Arab Americans say going to war with Iraq was the wrong decision, and 54 percent believe the president deliberately misled the public about his reason for going to war.
— Iranians were less suspicious of U.S. intentions in the Middle East than Arab or Pakistani Americans and more willing to see Iraq as part of the war against terrorism. By contrast, less than half of Arab Americans and only one fourth of Pakistani Americans believe it is part of the war on terror.
— Arab Americans have experienced more discrimination and are over three times more likely than the non-Latino white population to have experienced racial profiling since the Sept. 11 attacks. For Pakistani Americans and for the Muslims polled, those numbers were even higher.
Fascinating stuff: “We have a poll that shows a strong rejection of President Bush’s policies in Iraq, and a suggestion that we withdraw our troops as soon as possible,” said Sergio Bendixen, president of the Miami-based firm that conducted the poll.
An estimated 3 million Arab Americans live in the United States.
New Poll- Bush Support Among Arab Americans Tumbles
Pacific News Service, News Features,
Marcelo Ballve, Aug 26, 2004
Poll commissioned by Amnesty International and New California Media
Arab Americans favor Kerry over Bush
Poll indicates War in Iraq seen as main reason for shift from GOP
Jason B. Johnson,
San Francisco Chronicle, Friday, August 27, 2004