Arab Americans overwhelmingly support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton over her Republican rival Donald Trump according to an October poll by the Arab American Institute (AAI), the Middle East Eye website reported Tuesday.
The survey found 60 percent of Arab American likely voters were backing Clinton, while only 26% said they would cast a ballot for Trump.
According to the report, Trump’s low standing among Arab Americans stems largely from his comments that Muslims should be banned from entering to the US due to a spate of terror attacks. Although he later walked back these remarks, he continued to insist on the “extreme vetting” of immigrants, in particular those from countries with histories of terrorism, many of which have populations that are majority Arab.
The poll said that over 80% of respondents fear they will be discriminated against because of their ethnicity, and over half said they have already faced discrimination because they are Arab.
One-third of respondents said that preventing a Trump presidency was their primary motivation for voting.
According to the 2010 US Census, there are 1,698,570 Arab Americans in the US. But while they only compromise a small percentage of the overall electorate, Arab Americans are a sizable minority in the state of Michigan. The state has long been a Democratic stronghold, but it has been more contested this election than in the past due to its high number of working-class white voters, one of Donald Trump’s primary sources of support.
Clinton visited Dearborn, Michigan, last Friday, and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, visited Arab American voters in the city on Sunday, showing the importance the Clinton campaign places on turning out the Arab American vote in the state, according to the Middle East Eye article.
Dearborn, a suburb of Detroit, is the US city with the most Arab American residents as a percentage of the population, with nearly 40% of the residents saying they are of Arab descent, according to the 2010 census.