(CN) – As Michigan Democrats hit the polls Tuesday, endorsements from the state’s considerable Muslim and Arab communities continue to pile up for the Jewish senator backed overwhelmingly by young voters.
In Bernie Sanders’ home state of Vermont, only 2 percent of the population practice Judaism, and not even a tenth of 1 percent practice Islam, according to the state’s most recent Pew poll.
That hasn’t stopped Sanders from landing the endorsements of the first Muslim congressman, the largest Arab-American newspaper and a prominent Palestinian-American activist.
Sanders’ message has resonated among young Muslims in particular, as shown by the poll touted last week by the Council for American-Islamic Relations.
After polling nearly 2,000 Muslim voters, CAIR found that 78 percent of Muslims between the ages of 18 and 24 favored Sanders, more than three and a half times the number favoring former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Though Clinton led among Muslim voters of all ages – 47 percent to Sanders’ 25 percent – CAIR said “support for Sanders may actually be higher because its poll surveyed more voters over the age of 45.”
Discussing the results in a phone interview, CAIR’s government affairs director Robert McCaw said Clinton has an advantage among immigrant voters, who have known her name since the 1990s.
As with young voters around the country of other faiths, including no faith, who have rallied around the senator’s platform of loan forgiveness, universal health care and free college tuition, McCaw said young Muslims share the Sanders campaign’s “more idealistic approach to the social safety net.”
“To be another racial and religious minority running for office, I think especially young Muslims can identify with that,” he added.