US House of Representatives to have three Muslim members, as Biden nears victory

US House of Representatives to have three Muslim members, as Biden nears victory
Three Muslim politicians will sit in the new House of Representatives, as votes continue to be counted in the hotly contested US presidential elections.
2 min read
06 November, 2020
Ilhan Omar was among the Muslim members of Congress re-elected [Getty]
Three Muslim politicians will have seats in the US Congress, following an election that is nearing its zenith, with Democrat Joe Biden projected to become the next President of the United States.

Ilhan Omar won in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, Rashida Tlaib won in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District and in Indiana, Andre Carson won his re-election bid in Indiana’s 7th District.

Tlaib and Omar make up two of the four politicians known as "The Squad", which in addition includes Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, both of whom were also re-elected.

The Muslim vote has been important in the US elections, and a CAIR exit poll survey found that nearly 69 per cent of Muslim voters cast their ballot for Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Early reports indicated that Arab-American and Black voters may have been crucial in flipping Michigan, won narrowly by Trump in the 2016 elections, towards Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Polls conducted by the Arab American Institute and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) show that Arab and Muslim voters may well have voted in higher numbers than in 2016.

The vote in the Midwestern state swung in Biden's favour late on Wednesday as counts from counties with high numbers of Black, Arab, Asian and Latino residents came in.

The cities of Detroit and Dearborn in Michigan's Wayne County are home to an estimated 200,000 Arab-Americans, according to the Arab American Institute.

"While we must wait for the final exit polls to analyse the result thoroughly, early evidence shows that mobilisation of Arab American voters in Michigan... has had a key role in the Democratic victory there," political analyst Arash Azizi told The New Arab.

Biden takes the lead

Joe Biden has taken the lead in key battleground state Pennsylvania, where a victory for the former vice president would push him past the threshold of electoral votes needed to win the White House, US media has said.

More ballots are yet to be counted, but shortly before 1400 GMT, CNN and The New York Times reported that Biden had moved ahead of incumbent President Donald Trump by more than 5,500 votes.

Biden currently has at least 253 electoral votes. The magic number is 270. If he wins Pennsylvania - a state won by Trump in 2016 - and its 20 electoral votes, he would pass that threshold.

Biden is also currently in the lead in key states Georgia and Nevada.

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