Archive for the ‘Muslim’ Category

Updates on the Election Campaign Front

August 10, 2008

False rumors about Obama’s religion seem to be haunting him again and have proven to be affecting his chances at becoming the next U.S. president.

A new Pew poll has found that Democrats who mistakenly believe Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is a Muslim are significantly less likely to vote for the Illinois senator.
The New Yorker magazine’s controversial cover portraying Obama as a radical Muslim has renewed focus on public misperceptions of the Illinois senator’s faith.
The misperception that Obama adheres to Islam has persisted over the course of the 2008 presidential election campaign and seems to be affecting a substantial percentage of Democratic voters.

The belief that Obama is Muslim appears to have virtually no effect on Republican voters–who overwhelmingly support Republican presidential hopeful John McCain regardless. But a recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press revealed that Democrats who share the misperception are significantly less likely to support the democratic candidate.

Democratic voters who either believe Obama is a Muslim or who don’t know because they’ve heard different things are 28 points less likely to say they support Obama for president than are those who believe he is Christian (62% vs. 90%).

Among Independents, the relationship between views of Obama’s religion and the vote is far less substantial—those who believe he is Christian are split evenly between the two candidates, while those who think or have heard Obama is Muslim favor McCain by a 50%-to-34% margin.
The Pew survey found that 12 percent of respondents—both Democrat and Republican—believe Obama is Muslim.

While believing Obama to be Muslim does not necessarily translate to votes, 51 percent of the 12 percent who say he is Muslim support McCain. However, 37 percent who hold this view say they intend to vote for Obama. Among the majority who identify Obama as Christian—60 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of Republicans—these figures are reversed, with 52 percent supporting Obama for president and 39 percent backing McCain. In total, 63 percent of voters who say they support Obama for president correctly identify him as Christian, while 9 percent say he is Muslim.

But questions about Obama’s faith may have an effect beyond those who straight up believe Obama is Muslim. Twenty-five percent of voters say they don’t know what religion Obama adheres to, including 10 percent who say the reason they don’t know is not that they “just don’t know enough about him,” but instead that they’ve “heard different things about his religion.” Significantly, those who have heard different things about Obama’s religion favor McCain by a margin of 48 percent to 33 percent, while those who simply don’t know enough about it favor Obama 48 percent to 33 percent.

Who’s to blame? The Republican party? The Media? Obama? How should Obama respond so as to not offend the Muslim community but also to clarify that he is in fact Christian?