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A poll of Muslim voters has found 25 percent of respondents still undecided as to the presidential election, although the vast majority (91 percent) of those polled said they plan to vote.
The polling was conducted by an independent firm for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights and advocacy organization with chapters around the country. It consisted of a random sampling of 500 voters who identify as Muslim. Among the 75 percent who said they had decided on a candidate, 68 percent said they favored President Obama, while seven percent supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Just over half (55 percent) said they consider themselves moderate, with only 26 percent saying they are liberal, and 16 percent conservative. But much like Latinos, more Muslim voters have gradually been moving toward the Democratic party. According to the poll, the percentage of Muslim voters who said they identified more closely with the Democratic Party was 66 percent, a jump from 49 percent in 2008 according to a similar poll then. However, Republican party affiliation among these voters stayed much the same, with 9 percent saying they identified more closely with the GOP vs. 8 percent four years ago.
What issues are important to Muslim voters? The same ones that other Americans care about. The poll results ranked their top four issues as jobs and the economy, education, health care policy, Medicare and Social Security. The fifth-ranked issue, however, is civil rights, a topic that in the last decade has carried special weight for Muslims and other Americans of Arab and Middle Eastern descent.