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Why Can Trump Try To Steal The Election? Blame The Electoral College.

President Donald Trump is trying, and failing, to steal the 2020 presidential election won by Democratic rival Joe Biden by pressuring Republican state and local officials in states Biden won to override the will of the people, block the certification of their state’s election results and name Trump the winner.

This is only possible because of the Electoral College.

In 2016, the Electoral College allowed Trump to win the presidency in spite of losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes. Now Trump is attempting to use the system for a scheme to overturn his loss in the electoral vote and attack the bedrock of American democracy, the peaceful transfer of power.

The 2020 presidential election is not remotely close in the national popular vote. Biden leads Trump by nearly 6 million votes, or 3.8 percentage points. That percentage margin is the same as President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection victory and is expected to grow further as hundreds of thousands of mail-in ballots in New York are counted.

The Constitution requires that the president be elected by a majority vote in the Electoral College, which awards 535 electors to states based on their number of members of Congress and three to the District of Columbia. This means that presidential elections are often fought over just a small handful of swing states where both parties just so happen to be competitive.

That handful of states in 2020 included Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin, where Biden won by a combined total of less than 50,000 votes. A reversal in those three states would have created a tie in the Electoral College, sending the election to the House of Representatives, where Trump would have prevailed even as Biden triumphed in the popular vote by millions. (The House votes by state, and Republicans control the majority of states in the chamber.)

If the election were simply a measure of popular support, it would not matter if Biden prevailed in these states. And that means that Trump would have no process to disrupt with his farcical claims of election fraud. He would also have no reason or ability to cajole, threaten or manipulate state and local officials to try to keep himself in office.

Instead, since we do have the Electoral College, Trump has abused his office in pursuit of ending American democratic elections by trying to force his officeholding co-partisans, from county elections board members to governors, to ignore the will of the people.

After two Republican officials in Wayne County, Michigan, initially refused to certify their county’s results before later reversing and certifying on Wednesday night, Trump called at least one of them to thank them for their effort. After his call, the two tried to take back their certification, but it was too late.

Instead, Trump summoned the two top Republicans in the state legislature to the White House to pressure them to hand him the state’s 16 electoral votes, even though he lost the state’s popular vote by nearly 145,000. This would not be legally possible, but it would not be happening at all were it not for the Electoral College.

Trump was also publicly pressuring Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) to refuse to certify his state’s results despite a historic statewide hand recount showed Biden to have won by more than 12,000 votes. But Kemp announced the certification of the state’s 16 electors to Biden on Friday.

These actions have exposed how the Electoral College creates choke points where a demagogic actor seeking to reject an election outcome can lean on his fellow party members to change the outcome.

Members of local or state boards of canvassers can choose not to certify an election. A state legislature or the governor can then select a slate of electors that could go against the voters’ selection. A president seeking to undermine democracy could also file lawsuits to try to drag out the certification process until the Dec. 8 deadline to submit electors to Congress, as Trump is trying to do.

None of this would be possible if the country elected the president by a national popular vote. Or at the very least it would be nearly impossible.

States would still need to certify their popular vote result and confirm that it is accurate. But any attempt to stop the certification would need to occur in a state or collection of states that could change the final popular vote margin, not just in a few states that would change the number of electors. Just four elections have been decided by fewer than 1 million votes in the past 120 years.

In this election, Trump would have had to pressure Republicans in enough states to make up a 6 million (and growing) vote deficit to somehow change those numbers, not just overcome a 50,000 vote deficit to tip results in three states.

A large majority of Americans support getting rid of the Electoral College. None of the arguments in favor of keeping it ― that evade the “it helps my party win” argument ― holds water. Trump’s abuse of the Electoral College in pursuit of ending American democracy and installing himself as ruler provides a new reason to ditch it. 

This was the third presidential election of the 21st century and the second straight to be disrupted by the Electoral College. Perhaps it’s time to treat all votes equally and let the people decide.

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Conservative Washington Times Shuts Down Trump Campaign Aide’s Literal Fake News

A top aide for President Donald Trump’s campaign on Sunday attempted to mock media outlets for projecting Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the election by tweeting a photo of a Washington Times headline from 2000 that read, “President Gore.”

Former Vice President Al Gore famously lost the 2000 presidential election after an incredibly tight race in Florida and, ultimately, a Supreme Court decision that shut down a recount. On election night, news outlets first called Florida for Gore, then Bush, then said the race was too close to call. Gore had called George W. Bush that night to concede but then retracted his concession an hour later.

The recount and legal battles would take weeks to unfold, with Gore eventually conceding to Bush that December.

But despite all the chaos surrounding the 2000 election, The Washington Times, a conservative daily newspaper, never published a headline that declared Gore to be president.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh on Sunday tweeted two photos: one of the purported Washington Times “President Gore” front page and the other of a room plastered with photos of the front page.

“Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder that the media doesn’t select the President,” Murtaugh wrote in his tweet.

The Washington Times responded: “Those photos have been doctored. The Washington Times never ran a ‘President Gore’ headline.” 

Murtaugh’s tweet was deleted later Sunday. He did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.

Trump has refused to concede the election to Biden, despite virtually all major media networks projecting Biden as the winner Saturday morning.

In almost every election cycle, including the 2016 one, media networks have projected the winner of the presidential race before all of the votes are counted and certified ― a process that can take weeks.

Trump’s allies on Sunday, including Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Ted Cruz of Texas, have falsely accused the media of essentially undermining the vote-counting process.

Twitter users roasted Murtaugh’s attempt to call out the media:

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Trump Supporters Are Already Trying To Tank A Potential Biden Presidency

“Maricopa!” or maybe “Philadelphia!” is on its way to becoming the next “Benghazi!”

There is good reason to think that Joe Biden got enough votes to defeat Donald Trump in the Electoral College and become the next president. But with the final result dependent on a few key states where officials are still counting ballots, the Trump campaign and its allies are out in force, accusing Democrats of stealing the election.

“The Democrats know the only way to win this election is to cheat in Pennsylvania … this is fraud,” Eric Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday, before making claims about finding pro-Trump ballots in ditches and Biden supporters posting propaganda inside polling places. 

Pam Bondi, the Trump campaign adviser and former Republican Florida attorney general, said in a television interview that “we have evidence of cheating” in Pennsylvania and talked about “fake ballots” and “ballots being dumped.”

The interview was on Fox News, where some of the Trumpier hosts have been pushing the same kinds of theories. Tucker Carlson said that “clearly corrupted city bureaucrats” are rigging the count, while Laura Ingraham warned about “unverifiable dumps of votes” showing up in the official Biden tallies.

Trump, who early on Thursday tweeted “STOP THE COUNT” followed two hours later with “STOP THE FRAUD.”

There is, to be clear, no evidence of fraud. The supposedly suspicious nature of the tallying, with Trump falling behind as officials work through the backlog of mail-in ballots that largely favor Biden, is nothing more than the predictable ― and predicted ― consequence of the pandemic and how some state-level Republicans insisted the election play out. 

GOP officials in several states rebuffed requests to start counting mail-in ballots before Election Day, even though everybody knew that the pandemic meant the states would have to process an unprecedented number of them. That helps explain why the count is taking so long in Pennsylvania, for example.

Conservatives are taking advantage of the interregnum to make arguments about supposedly implausible voter turnout, or election workers allegedly burning ballots, or preventing Republican observers from watching the counts.

The claims have fallen apart with even mild scrutiny, and in one particularly telling episode, a group of Trump advisers in Las Vegas Thursday morning refused to answer (and escaped into a van) when MSNBC host Jacob Soboroff asked them to provide evidence of the alleged ballot fraud.  

But the stories keep spreading anyway. An example is “Sharpiegate,” the theory that election officials in Maricopa County, Arizona, gave voters markers that would spoil ballots as ink seeped through the paper.  

The theory makes no sense at all. Officials have made clear that Sharpies would work just fine and that, in any event, they have a way to count ballots with such problems. It’s also not self-evident how officials in Maricopa could selectively give the markers to Trump voters.

The story went viral anyway ― including on the Facebook page for a group called “Stop the Steal,” which had more than 300,000 members with a few hundred or so joining every minute before Facebook shut it down on Thursday. Some were bots, undoubtedly, but some just as surely were not.

Conspiracy Theories Serve A Long-Term Purpose, Too

The short-term goal for Trump and his allies is to find some way of extracting a victory ― if not through official legal challenges, then maybe by creating enough chaos and confusion that they can persuade friendly state legislatures to appoint pro-Trump electors in defiance of the offical returns. That effort faces some pretty steep odds, of course. 

But the conspiracy theories could serve some long-term purposes as well ― for Trump, who could use the myth of a stolen election to fuel a political comeback, and for Republicans in Congress, who could weaponize it to undermine a Biden presidency.

Good candidates for that role are Sens. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio). Johnson is chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; Portman, according to Politico, will succeed him assuming Republicans hold the Senate. Both were advocates for investigating Benghazi (the deaths of several Americans in a deadly attack on an embassy in Libya) back in the day. 

It’s not hard ― actually, it’s too easy ― to imagine their committee convening hearings on the 2020 election count.

These hearings would be no more likely to produce incriminating evidence than the Benghazi hearings or any other right-wing fishing expedition. But they could create a sense that Biden didn’t really get the support of the American people, which would reinforce an argument from more respectable Republicans that Biden’s election isn’t an indicator of the popular will ― and that, as a result, Republicans can obstruct his agenda and even his basic ability to govern with impunity.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is already sending that signal, via an anonymous adviser who told Axios that the Senate would block Biden Cabinet appointments if they are not sufficiently centrist. Although Biden could always rely heavily on naming acting Cabinet officials and making recess appointments, McConnell’s statement is a sign of how he’s thinking and a reminder of how he conducted himself during the Obama presidency.

To be clear, the margins in the swing states really are razor-thin. That’s why the final election outcome remains in doubt. But by the time it is done, Biden could win 306 electoral votes, which would be as many as Trump got in 2016 and more than George W. Bush got in either 2000 or 2004.

And the close state counts that have left the Electoral College in doubt make it easy to overlook the significance of Biden’s showing in the popular vote. Biden could end up with about 52%, according to FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver. That would be more than Trump or George W. Bush ever got ― and even Ronald Reagan in 1980, for that matter.

The comparisons to George W. Bush and Trump are especially interesting because they both lost the popular vote. Bush in 2000 got about 500,000 fewer votes than Democratic nominee Al Gore; Trump got almost 3 million fewer than Hillary Clinton.

And in both cases, the elections actually were tainted. Ballot problems famously spoiled pro-Gore votes in Florida and a potentially decisive recount was shut down by five Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court; Trump won while Russian operatives (with or without inside help from Trump associates) were trying actively to tip the outcome toward him.

These circumstances didn’t stop either Bush, Trump, or their Republican allies in Congress from claiming mandates and immediately pursuing ambitious agendas, which for Bush was a massive tax cut for the rich and for Trump was repeal of the Affordable Care Act. 

Bush succeeded. Trump failed. But the thinking was the same: Do whatever it takes to win, paying no attention to facts or what the public actually wants.

Now, a similar effort appears to be underway. Trump and his allies want to hold onto the presidency. If they can’t do that, they want to make sure Biden can’t do anything with it.

Update: A previous version of this article stated that Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson will likely remain chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee if Republicans retain control of the Senate. However, Politico has since reported Ohio Sen. Rob Portman will succeed him.

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No, Nancy Pelosi Was Not ‘Dancing In The Streets Of Chinatown’

During Thursday night’s final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, Trump told lie after lie, particularly while attempting to defend his disastrous response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When moderator Kristen Welker asked Trump what he would do if the U.S. experiences another surge in COVID-19 cases this winter, the president blamed seemingly everyone but himself — including by falsely claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was “dancing in the streets of Chinatown.”

Trump was referring to Pelosi’s visit to San Francisco’s Chinatown, part of her congressional district, on Feb. 24, several weeks before COVID-19 cases began to surge in the United States. She was there to show solidarity for the neighborhood, walking around with community leaders and eating lunch at a dim sum restaurant, in order to assuage anti-Asian sentiments amid fears of the coronavirus.

At that point, many Asian-owned businesses around the country had experienced a precipitous drop in sales and patronage because of racism related to the coronavirus, which first appeared in Wuhan, China, and had been spreading across parts of Asia.

Throughout this year, Asian Americans have experienced an avalanche of COVID-19-related racism. Since March, a group of advocacy organizations and scholars called STOP AAPI HATE has collected and received reports of more than 2,700 racist incidents, with respondents from nearly every U.S. state.

This week, the group released a report concluding that Trump is by far the biggest “superspreader” of anti-Asian racism catalyzed by the pandemic. The president frequently uses racist slurs and epithets to refer to COVID-19, and he blames and scapegoats China in order to deflect from his own mishandling of the public health crisis.

Trump has previously trotted out his lie about Pelosi’s Chinatown visit, mischaracterizing and embellishing the story during his White House COVID-19 briefings, according to FactCheck.org. At a White House event in May, he falsely claimed that the House speaker encouraged international tourists to “bring your infection.”

“She’s dancing in the streets of Chinatown, trying to say, ‘It’s OK to come to the United States. It’s fine. It’s wonderful. Come on in. Bring your infection with you,’” he said.

Pelosi did not say that.

The president’s “bring your infection” comment calls to mind racist tropes about Chinese people being disease carriers. These xenophobic attacks have persisted since the 19th century, when Chinese immigrants who arrived in the United States were labeled as harbingers of the “yellow peril.”

During Thursday’s debate, Trump kept playing into these racist fears and stereotypes, among many other racist comments he made on the stage. For example, in response to a question about climate change, he referred to China and India as “filthy.”

Yet, he falsely and bafflingly declared himself to be “the least racist person in this room.”

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Mitch McConnell Warns White House Not To Accept Stimulus Deal Before Election

WASHINGTON ― With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) once again extending a self-imposed deadline for a stimulus bill on Tuesday, an already doubtful deal is now running into a new roadblock: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell has always been an obstacle to an agreement between Pelosi and the White House, with the Kentucky Republican mostly staying on the sidelines as the speaker and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin have tried ― and failed ― for months to find a compromise on another coronavirus relief bill.

But with Pelosi and the Trump administration finally making strides just two weeks before Election Day, McConnell has finally started lobbying against a deal.

A senior GOP aide told HuffPost on Tuesday that McConnell had informed Senate Republicans that he advised the White House not to finalize an agreement before the Nov. 3rd election, warning President Donald Trump that adding a major measure to the legislative calendar now could derail the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Such a warning is, of course, outlandish. Barrett’s confirmation hasn’t been in doubt since even before she was nominated, and it’s looking like the Senate will confirm her next Monday. But keeping senators in town past Oct. 26 will eat into valuable campaigning time for many vulnerable Republicans seeking reelection. And passing $2 trillion in new spending is anathema to McConnell and many Republicans.

“It’s clear Senate Republicans are uncomfortable spending $2 trillion right before an election,” a senior GOP aide told HuffPost on Tuesday.

Many GOP senators have privately said they’d like to avoid voting on new spending, with conservatives rediscovering their debt clocks and penny-pinching ways as the prospects of a Joe Biden presidency grow by the day. If a deal had Trump’s backing, however, it’d be difficult for many Republicans to vote against it, particularly just days before the election.

A recent poll from The New York Times and Siena College suggests that a $2 trillion stimulus is extremely popular: 72% of respondents support such a deal, while only 21% oppose it. So the best-case scenario for Senate Republicans, it seems, is if such a deal never materializes.

“Right now, procedurally, the mechanics of getting the deal done [before the election] would be challenging, to say the least,” Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R-S.D.) told reporters on Tuesday.

“The number I’m less concerned with than the provisions,” added Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) Tuesday when asked if he could support a larger stimulus package. The vulnerable North Carolina Republican opposes providing aid to cities and states but is supportive of other popular items like unemployment benefits and another round of stimulus checks.

GOP senators would certainly prefer not having to publicly oppose a deal or the president. So many have chosen to positively posture about a theoretical agreement while picking apart what’s currently on the table. After passing trillion-dollar tax cuts and spending roughly $3 trillion on coronavirus relief already ― on top of the roughly $3 trillion that the Federal Reserve has spent easing the stock market ― Republicans are once again finding their tea party tricorn hats just in time to handicap the economic recovery under a Democratic president.

Should Biden win, it’s unlikely any Republican senator would go along with a stimulus deal, making it difficult to find 60 votes in the Senate even if Democrats take back the majority. So if Pelosi and the White House can’t reach a deal soon and have Trump pressure Republicans before the election, it’s possible there’s never another stimulus.

But there’s been some sudden hope about the prospects of a deal. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said Tuesday that it was a “false choice” between confirming Barrett and passing a stimulus deal before the election. “We can actually do both, we will do both,” he said.

And Pelosi said Tuesday she was “optimistic” about a deal before the election, walking back a Tuesday deadline for movement on a stimulus bill.

“It isn’t that this day is the day we would have a deal,” she said. “It’s a day when we would have our terms on the table to be able to go to the next step. Legislation takes a long time.”

A senior aide for Pelosi tweeted that she and Mnuchin had spoken for about 45 minutes Tuesday afternoon and that the deadline that Pelosi set on Sunday “enabled” both sides to see that “decisions could be reached and language could be exchanged, demonstrating that both sides are serious about finding a compromise.”

The aide added that committee chairs would work to resolve differences about funding levels and language and that Pelosi and Mnuchin would talk again on Wednesday.

Still, there is a long way from trading paper and working on language to a final agreement. And with just those two weeks before Election Day, it’s very possible McConnell and other Republicans slow down a deal enough that it’s impossible to do before the election.

And afterward, if Biden does win, those same GOP senators skittish about opposing Trump might finally feel emboldened enough to openly break from the president. Some are already introducing daylight.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the veteran Republican negotiator and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is already expressing concern about the debt and said that passing a bill in the Senate would be difficult even if Trump fully threw his weight behind it at this point.

“I’ve never done that with any president,” Shelby said Tuesday. “I’ve never jumped when somebody wanted something. I think that’s not what a senator or member of Congress should be about.”

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Sean Hannity Rants At Savannah Guthrie’s Town Hall Tone In Staggering Self-Own

Sean Hannity led a Fox News outcry over NBC town hall moderator Savannah Guthrie’s questioning of President Donald Trump on Thursday ― and he did it with a head-shaking lack of self-awareness. (See the video below.)

Guthrie’s tone reeked of “political bias” and was “not journalism,” the Fox News personality fumed as he accused Guthrie of acting as Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s “surrogate.”

“Today” host Guthrie actually was widely praised for moderating the town hall like a real reporter, pressing the president on his unwillingness to denounce followers of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, his retweeting of many unfounded conspiracy theories, his waffling on face masks, and other topics.

Fox News has been largely a safe haven for the president, with its morning and prime time personalities forming a de-facto campaign arm for the Republican administration. Hannity, a Trump chum, has been a leader of the truth-defying effort, defending the president’s behavior at all costs on his show.

The sight of a journalist not letting Trump off the hook seemed to enrage him.

“NBC fake news did their best to just ambush President Trump at tonight’s town hall,” Hannity said on his show after the town hall. “He pretty much debated Savannah Guthrie and what we all witnessed was not journalism. It was a political debate with the morning host of the ‘Today’ show serving as, well, Joe Biden’s surrogate and it didn’t really work out well for her.

“Questions, topics, tactics all reeking of nothing but pure political bias,” he added. “… Savannah, you need to get out of the New York, liberal, elitist, out-of-touch bubble that you’re living in and maybe read some other news or take a step outside the far-left enclave that is conspiracy TV MSNBC DNC.”

We want to know what you’re hearing on the ground from the candidates. If you get any interesting ― or suspicious! ― campaign mailers, robocalls or hear anything else you think we should know about, email us at [email protected].

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Ex-Trump DHS Official Condemns ‘Dangerous’ President In Scathing Op-Ed

A former Department of Homeland Security official questioned in a scathing op-ed how anyone could vote for President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, citing the chaos that has characterized his administration and his mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Elizabeth Neumann explained in a USA Today column published Tuesday why she is “convinced” the president is “failing at keeping Americans safe.” Neumann, until April, spent three years as a high-ranking member of the Trump administration’s national security team.

“He is dangerous for our country,” she wrote.

Neumann cited the president’s failure to address the surge in white nationalist violence, his constant lying and the turnover of key administration officials. Without elaborating, she also referred to what she said was a close call that could have led the U.S. into war. 

She warned the country’s abandonment of allies and appeasement of dictators would “only get worse” in a second Trump term. Her column is headlined: “Trump made it hard for me to protect America. How could I vote for him again? How could anyone?”

Neumann, who endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in a video released by the Republican Voters Against Trump group in August, had particularly harsh commentary on the pandemic. 

Trump’s intentional public dismissal of the threat of COVID-19 — while acknowledging its “deadly” nature in private — was worse than a “dereliction of duty,” said Neumann.

“Your government is supposed to perform some basic functions; keeping you and your family safe is primary among them,” she wrote. “In 2016, I voted for President Trump. But when someone asked me if I could vote for him again, after he time and again refused to keep Americans safe — how could I say anything but no? How could anyone?”

Read Neumann’s full column here.

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Muslims Are Least Likely Faith Group To Back Trump, But That Support Is Rising, Poll Finds

Muslims are the least likely faith group in the U.S. to support President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, according to a new report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding. That’s not surprising, considering his pledges and actions that have targeted Muslims in the U.S. and abroad. But another survey finding is more jarring: the proportion of Muslims who back Trump has gone up since 2016.

Support for Trump’s reelection climbed 10 percentage points from 2016 to 2020, up from 4% to 14%, among Muslim Americans, according to the survey released Thursday. That increase came mostly from white Muslims, 31% of whom back the president. Only 8% of Black and Arab Muslims and 6% of Asian Muslims said they supported Trump.

That’s not to say Trump has many Muslim backers. The study found that Muslim Americans overwhelmingly prefer a Democrat for president: at 67% in 2016 and at 51% for the 2020 election.

With the presidential election just weeks away, the report ― the fifth of its kind from the organization ― offers crucial insights into voting trends of Muslim Americans, a community that experts say does not operate as a voting bloc due to being the most racially diverse faith group in the country. Despite making up only 1% of the U.S. population, at 3 million people, Muslim civic engagement has skyrocketed over the last few years and grabbed the attention of presidential candidates

“The steady growth is really a testimony to the hard work that’s from so many in Muslim civil society who have focused on improving Muslim civic engagement,” said Dalia Mogahed, ISPU’s director of research.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden used the word “inshallah,” an Arabic term that translates to “God willing,” during the first presidential debate Tuesday, and Muslims and Arabic speakers took notice. 

During the same debate, Trump refused to condemn white supremacists. He’s also amplified anti-Muslim rhetoric on the campaign trail, attacked the first two Muslim congresswomen and, most notably, issued a travel ban that targets citizens from several Muslim-majority countries.

But he still has a small band of Muslim American supporters. The study found that the small proportion of Muslims who support Trump was largely aligned with non-Muslim Trump supporters, prioritizing the economy as a top issue. Both Muslim and non-Muslim Trump supporters opposed building coalitions with the Black Lives Matter movement.  (The respondents who described themselves as white Muslims were asked by the questioner to self-identify.)

By contrast, most Muslim Americans are in favor of coalitions with organizations like the Black Lives Matter Movement. Nearly two-thirds of Muslims expressed support for such partnerships. 

Su’ad Abdul Khabeer, the senior editor at Sapelo Square, an online publication that amplifies the voices of Black Muslims, noted that Muslims who align with Trump are often “recipients of privilege and power” and haven’t dealt with the aftermath of some of Trump’s racist or Islamophobic rhetoric.

Those Muslims who may not have been victims of explicit Islamophobia or racism are more able to compartmentalize different aspects of their identities, said Kameelah Mu’Min Rashad, the founder and president of the Muslim Wellness Foundation.

“Hearing [these numbers] makes me wonder what deeper conversations and spaces are needed for American Muslims to divest from whiteness to explore the impact of internalized white supremacy and internalized oppression,” Rashad added.  

Though there is a perception that religious people are largely aligned with the Republican Party ― due to the political activity of white evangelicals ― the political beliefs of most Muslim Americans show that isn’t always the case. 

“The idea that people vote for Trump because they’re so religious is not actually true. There are religious people on both sides,” Mogahed said. “Social conservatism and religiosity did not appear to be as strong of a factor as we might expect.”

The numbers provided an interesting insight into the political leanings of Muslim Americans, who have become more politically engaged over the last few years. According to research released in 2018, more than 66% of American Muslims identified with Democrats, compared with only 13% who identified as Republicans. However, both groups were critical of the way their own parties treated their communities.

The report also noted that, despite the increased civic participation, the number of Muslims registered to vote remains lower than for other faith groups. A quarter of Muslims in America are not eligible to vote, mostly due to citizenship ― a number higher than other faith groups. As of March, nearly a third of Muslims (28%) were still undecided on who they prefer as their next president. 

The ISPU, founded in 2002, is a research institution based in Washington, D.C.,  that conducts studies, gathers data and forms analyses on American Muslims.  The most recent report surveyed self-identified Muslims, Jewish Americans and other populations in March and April 2020 through Social Science Research Solutions, a market and survey firm.

SSRS interviewed 801 Muslim respondents, 351 Jewish respondents and 1,015 adults in the general population, totaling 2,167 people surveyed by phone and on the web. The survey has a margin of error at a 95% confidence level of plus or minus 4.8 percentage points for Muslims and plus or minus 7.2 points for Jews.

You can read the full report here. 

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