A plurality of registered Muslim voters in the United States supports Bernie Sanders as the Democratic presidential nominee, according to a survey commissioned by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) advocacy organization. The Vermont senator leads the pack of Democratic nominees with support from 39 percent of survey respondents. Former Vice President Joe Biden comes in at second with 27 percent. Making up the second-tier of candidates are Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who are tied at 9 percent in the CAIR poll. The remaining nominees fall in the single digits.
Sanders has actively courted the American Muslim vote and is outspoken on both domestic and foreign policy issues of concern to Muslim voters. He has been a leading anti-war voice in the post-9/11 era and vocal in his support for self-determination for the Palestinian and Kashmiri peoples.
Muslims also feature prominently in his campaign. The Sanders campaign manager is Faiz Shakir, a Harvard-educated American Muslim of Pakistani descent. And Palestinian American Muslim activist Linda Sarsour, formerly of the Women’s March, is a leading Sanders surrogate. Sanders was also one of only two presidential nominee hopefuls who spoke at last year’s Islamic Society of North America convention, which is the largest annual gathering of Muslims in the United States.
Sanders, who could be America’s first Jewish president, has received the endorsement of the Muslim Caucus of America.