The Arab American Vote, 2012
New polling on Arab American voters in 2012* shows a continuing shift away from the Republican Party, a 15% drop in support for President Obama from 2008 voters, and a growing independent base.
Though party identification for both parties has decreased since 2008, Arab American Democrats still outnumber Republicans by a 2-1 margin (46% to 22%), continuing a steady migration away from the GOP since 2002. A majority of Arab Americans support Barack Obama for the presidency, primarily because of his economy policy and other domestic issues, but also for reasons of party identification, personal charisma, and a dislike of his opponents. Romney supporters, currently 28% of the community, overwhelmingly cite their support of his domestic policies and their dislike of Obama as motivations.
15% of Arab Americans who voted for Obama in 2008 have not declared their support for the President in this election.
Independents, who are evenly split between both candidates, lean toward Obama for his handling of health care, civil liberties, and Arab/Muslim outreach, but are split between the candidates on the economy and tax policy. One in five Arab American independents is still undecided.
All sides agree that jobs and the economy are a primary issue of concern in this election, though Republicans are more likely to also cite the budget, while Democrats are more likely to be concerned with foreign policy.
Arab American Muslims support Obama overwhelmingly (75% to 8%), while Orthodox/Protestants support Romney by a 16% margin.
Identity and Personal Concerns:
A majority of all subgroups identify as Arab American and by country of origin, or as Arab American alone, with over 40% identifying only as Arab American. One in five, however, identify by neither country of origin nor as Arab American. Republicans, Seniors 65+, and Christians are least likely to identify as Arab American, while nearly all Arab American Muslims identify by their country of origin, as Arab American, or both.
A strong plurality of Arab Americans feels very secure in their current jobs, but independents report the lowest levels of current job security. Most Arab Americans are confident that their children will lead better lives, but nearly half the community is concerned about facing discrimination because of their origin, particularly within the Arab American Muslim community.
*JZ Analytics conducted a survey of 400 Arab American voters between 9/8/12 and 9/14/12. Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for 400 is +/- 5 percentage points.
View media coverage of the poll:
Poll: Obama strong among Arab Americans, but less support since '08
Arab-American support for Obama down 15 percent from '08
Arab Americans favor Obama 2-1, down from 2008
James Zogby: Arab American Voters 'Overwhelmingly' Support Obama
Poll: Voters Favor Obama on Medicare
The Daily Beast
Arab Americans show tepid support for Obama, poll finds
Zogby: Arab-Americans Still Back Obama but More Take on Independent Label
Sunshine State News
Poll: Obama Has Strong Lead Over Romney Among Arab Americans
Despite Drop From 2008, Most Arab Americans Support Obama
Survey of Arab-Americans highlights drop in support for Obama
Obama Strong But Wilting with Arab-Americans
The National Journal, the Atlantic
Transcript of AAI President Jim Zogby's appearance on "The Situtation Room with Wolf Blitzer"
CNN, September 27th