Posted by on October 08, 2012 in Blog

As we head into the 2012 elections, it is important for the community to know that our voice counts and that we can make a difference this election. In a number of ways, we already have. The Arab American community has worked tirelessly in many states throughout the nation to register new voters and become more integrated into the political process. Today, not only are Arab Americans voting in record numbers, they are helping to influence the outcome of races like never before. In Paterson, New Jersey we saw how organized Arab American community members, campaign workers, and volunteers helped Congressman Bill Pascrell win in a tough democratic primary. At the conventions in Charlotte and Tampa, a record number of delegates made news with their enthusiasm, and by playing key roles for both their respective parties. Town halls to educate the community on the issues have been organized and hosted in several states across the country including Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Illinois and Florida. Many more are planned ahead of November in key states like Ohio. A virtual phone-banking apparatus is being set up in a number of states to encourage Arab Americans nationwide to get out to the polls next month and vote.

The community is more organized and engaged than ever before, and we're not the only ones that are noticing.

For evidence of how far we've come, one need not look further than the amazing coverage of our Arab American vote poll released in September. Of our community, Politico's Byron Tau wrote, "The Arab-American vote, often overlooked by politicians of both parties, could easily play a role in contested states like Florida and Michigan." AAI president Jim Zogby appeared on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer" to discuss the poll and issues of importance to our community. And our poll was mentioned by The Daily Beast along with two other national surveys showing the president's standings among American voters. In the National Journal, author Steve Clemons issued a warning to the Obama camp that ethnic voters, including Arab Americans, matter.

The great coverage demonstrates that the Arab American community does matter, and that it’s very much a part of the broader national conversation the country is having about this election. The reality is that without a more organized, politically adept, and motivated Arab American community making its voice heard, the results of this poll would not have mattered outside of the community. We have come a long way, so when people say that Arab Americans are divided, disorganized, and disengaged, refer them to this post. Let’s keep up the good work into November and beyond.

You can see some of the coverage we received on the poll below:

Obama Strong but Wilting With Arab-Americans
National Journal, the Atlantic

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

McClatchy Newspapers

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
AS-Safir (Arabic)

Survey of Arab-Americans highlights drop in support for Obama

Transcript of AAI President Jim Zogby's appearance on "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer"

CNN, September 27th