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CAIR Exit Poll: 85 Percent of Virginia Muslim Voters Supported Northam

VA Election76 percent of registered Virginia Muslim voters turned out at the polls on Tuesday

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/8/17) — The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), in partnership with the Virginia Council of Muslim Organizations (VCMO), today released the results of an exit poll indicating that Muslim voters in Virginia strongly supported now governor-elect Ralph Northam in Tuesday’s election.

The poll, conducted by an independent interactive voice response survey provider on behalf of CAIR and VCMO, indicated that 76 percent of registered Virginia Muslim voters turned out to the polls in the off-year election.

CAIR said the more than 300 Muslim voters surveyed indicated the following preferences:

  • Ralph Northam (D) 85%
  • Ed Gillespie (R) 13%
  • Cliff Hyra (L) 2%

NOTE: 323 total respondents, with 276 voting for Northam, 42 for Gillespie, and 5 for Hyra.

“High Muslim voter turnout and higher than average support for now governor-elect Ralph Northam reflect voters — including American Muslims and their neighbors — embracing inclusive campaigns and shows once again that candidates who decide to fear-monger about minority communities will lose,” said CAIR Director of Government Affairs Robert McCaw.

“Virginians have spoken and they reject division and hatred. We are proud of Virginia Muslim turnout and involvement in this election,” Rafi Ahmed, VCMO Interim President.

CAIR also applauded the historic election wins by minority candidates across the nation in races ranging from school board and city council, to mayor and Lieutenant Governor in Virginia. Such victories included:


  • Ravi Bhalla, New Jersey’s first ever Sikh-American mayor elected in Hoboken;
  • Democrat Justin Fairfax was elected lieutenant governor of Virginia; the second African-American candidate to win the post;
  • Mazahir Salih, first American Muslim woman and immigrant on the Iowa City Council;
  • Fartun Ahmed, first American Muslim elected to Hopkins School Board in Minnesota;
  • Zak Idan, American Muslim elected to Tukwila City Council in the state of Washington;
  • Abdi Warsame, first Somali-American Muslim to serve in a municipal office was reelected to Ward 6 City Council Member in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and others.


The night prior to the election, CAIR sponsored a get-out-the-vote (GOTV) robocall urging members of more than 8,000 registered Muslim voter households to go to the polls in today’s Virginia state general election.

CAIR’s 2016 Muslim Voters Presidential Election Exit Poll found 74 percent of American Muslims voted for Hillary Clinton and 13 percent for now President Donald Trump.

CAIR’s 2014 exit poll of Virginia Muslim voters found 79 percent of respondents voted in favor of then Democrat candidate, now U.S. Senator Mark Warner. In that race, 17 percent of Virginia Muslims reported that they voted for Republican candidate Ed Gillespie, and 3 percent for Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.

CAIR’s 2013 exit poll of Virginia Muslim voters found 68 percent of respondents voted in favor of then Democrat candidate, now Virginia state governor Terry McAuliffe. In that race, 12 percent of Virginia Muslims reported that they voted for Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, and 4 percent for Libertarian candidate Robert Sarvis.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

La misión de CAIR es mejorar la comprensión del Islam, fomentar el diálogo, proteger las libertades civiles, capacitar a los musulmanes estadounidenses, y construir coaliciones que promuevan la justicia y la comprensión mutua.

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CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448,; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,  


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