Right now, a lot of people are talking about the GOP's problems with Latinos. But there's another minority group that also deserves attention.
The Republican party has become the He-Man Muslim-Haters Club in recent years. I don't know how many Muslim votes Romney received in 2012, but I do know that in 2004, only four percent
of Muslims voted for George W. Bush.
You may be surprised to learn that the situation was very different in 2000
In the 2000 election, approximately 70% of Muslims in
America voted for Bush; among non-African-American Muslims, the ratio was over
As a measure of how things have changed, one Muslim voter writes:
There is simply no way that I can justify voting for a party that
denies the very legitimacy of my identity as an American. And there is
that I can justify voting for any member of that party that does not, in
strongest possible terms, denounce that view. Nor can most other members
of the American Muslim community, who just happen to be clustered in
swing states like Ohio, Virginia, and Florida.
Would the Muslim vote have made a difference? Only one percent of Ohio residents are Muslims, which means that, of that state's 11,544,951 citizens, roughly 115,000 practice Islam. Of course, not all of those 115,000 participated in the election. We won't know for some time how exactly how many more people in that state voted for Obama than for Romney, but, obviously, the election was very close. The Republicans could have used an extra 40 or 50 thousand votes.
Romney could have gotten those votes if he had criticized the drone wars or offered a viable plan to restart the peace process. As things stand, the Islamic community has little reason to love Obama, but even less reason to like the GOP.
To paraphrase Churchill (again): Anti-Islamism is a good starter, but a bad finisher.