A poll released today by the Arab American Institute explores attitudes Americans have toward Arabs and Muslims.
“The data extracted,” the Institute writes, ”indicates that anti-Arab and anti-Muslim political rhetoric has taken a toll on American public opinion, especially along age and party lines.”
Takeaways from the report:
1. Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans, and American Muslims have the lowest favorable/highest unfavorable ratings among the groups covered.
2. Muslims were the only group with a net unfavorable rating.
3. Note that one in five Americans were either unfamiliar with or not sure of their attitudes toward these communities.
4. Sikhs and Mormons also fare poorly, but in the case of Sikhs, one in four Americans are “unfamiliar” or “not sure”.
5. There is a deep generational divide, which is reflected in a partisan divide.
6. Younger Americans (18-25) rate Arabs and Muslims up to 17 points higher than the older generation. They also rate Arab Americans and American Muslims higher as well.
7. Younger Americans rate Catholics and the various Protestant denominations covered in the survey almost 20 points lower than do older Americans (65+). The younger group also rates Mormons 15 points lower.
8. This is reflected in a deep partisan divide and even more so in a division between those who describe themselves as Obama or Romney voters. For example, note how the ratings given to Arabs and Muslims by Obama and Romney voters are mirror reflections of each other. While Obama voters give Arabs a net 51%/29% favorable rating and Muslims a net 53%/29% rating; Romney voters give Arabs a 30%/50% net unfavorable rating and Muslims a 25%/57% unfavorable rating.
9. Democrats and Obama voters give no group a net negative rating. Republicans and Romney voters only give strong negative ratings to Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans, and American Muslims.
Image: Detail from The American Divide: How We View Arabs and Muslims.