Arab-Americans are gearing up to cast their ballots in the U.S. President elections which began on Tuesday, with many planning to support incumbent Barack Obama.
According to the Arab American Institute more than 1.9 million Americans are of Arab decent and reside in metropolitan cities, such as New York, Los Angeles and Michigan.
It is recognized that the majority of Arab-Americans have been leaning towards the
Obama administration over Mitt Romney during recent polls. In a Mid-election poll held in 2010 by Zogby International Surveys, Arab-Americans were found to lean twice as much towards the liberal party.
Meanwhile, in September a poll held by the Arab American Institute demonstrated a 15 percent drop in the support Arab-American support for Obama. Many respondents said they did not witness the “change” they anticipated from the president since he’s been in office.
Arab-Americans who firmly stand with Obama say he walked into office when former president Bush Jr. had wrecked what was left of the strong America.
Mathew Skylar, real estate and businessman from Arab descent, said he continues to believe in the change Obama promised America in 2008: “He’s been doing a really good job with bringing up the economy.”
“It’s not about a liberal agenda, he just came to office with a huge deficit that was carried on from Bush… his job is not done yet and if you’re going to hire somebody, you’ll need to see their job done all the way through,” he added.
Several Arab-Americans like Christopher O’Neill, a graphic designer, says he doubts Romney’s credibility as he feels ambiguity in the statements made throughout Romney’s campaigns and debates.
“The amount of disconnect between reality and his rhetoric is alarming as he shifted many of his political positions throughout the campaign to appeal to the most xenophobic and radical part of the electorate. For example, the healthcare reform law that Obama passed was modeled after the law that Romney passed as governor, and he now is against that same law,” said O’Neill.
Meanwhile, O’Neill added he fears the Republicans have a pro-war agenda.
“The only policies he [Romney] is propagating are those failed policies of the Bush administration, which include the redistribution of wealth from the lower and middle class to the rich and one of those ways is increasing the military budget and the anti-Middle eastern sentiments that push his Republican pro-war agenda,” saidO’Neill.
“Obama seems to understand this better than Romney, who supports military action against countries like Iran and has no place for negotiations,” said Mouna Bablli an Arab-American businesswoman.
If Obama were to win the second term election he would become the second Democrat to be in office for eight years following Bill Clinton since World War II.