Arab Americans on the Presidential Race

by Steven R. Corman

Yesterday the Arab American Institute released the results of a Zogby poll of Arab Americans on the Presidential race.  Here are the overall percentages for the candidates compared to an “all voters” average of three polls I calculated from data on USA Election Polls:

Canddiate All Voters AAI Poll
Obama 48% 46%
McCain 44% 32%
Barr 1% 1%
Nader 2% 6%
Others 5% 16%

Support for Obama is pretty similar to the general population, but the Arab Americans seem more inclined to support alternative candidates over McCain.  All respondents said they supported their candidate mostly because of his honesty.  Obama supporters ranked his ability to change Washington and bring people together as his second and third best qualities.  McCain supporters said they liked his moral character and experience.  No stiking difference from the general population there.

The top three issues for these voters are jobs & the economy (63%), the war in Iraq (37%), and health care (20%).  That’s the same ranking for the population at large, though the percentages are somewhat different (56%, 13%, 12%, respectively, according to CNN).  Terrorism is an issue for 10% of the Arab American sample (11% for population at large) and only 1% name Palestine as a top issue.

So, unsurprisingly, Arab Americans look pretty similar to all Americans in terms of the candidate preferences and concens.