Muslim Center Near Ground Zero: Cordoba House Controversy Could Pose Political Risks

New ABC News/Washington Post poll.

ByABC News
September 8, 2010, 4:46 PM

Sept. 8, 2010 -- The debate over construction of a Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan could carry political risks: Four in 10 registered voters -- overwhelmingly opponents of the plan -- say they feel strongly enough about it that it could influence their vote for Congress this fall.

At the same time, the complaint is with this particular site: While 66 percent of Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll oppose construction of the Cordoba House facility, 82 percent of opponents say they object to its proposed location, not to building mosques in general.

There is nonetheless substantial, continued suspicion in this country of Islam, a faith practiced by an estimated 1.5 billion people worldwide, but by fewer than 1 percent of the U.S. population. Among those results:

Click Here for PDF With Charts and Questionnaire

Familiarity with Islam doesn't significantly influence views on the Cordoba House issue. But it is a factor in broader views. People who feel familiar with Islam, or who know a Muslim, have substantially more favorable views of the religion, by 17 and 19 points respectively. (Overall favorability is not up because people who express unfamiliarity with Islam have grown sharply more negative in their opinions of the religion since 2006.)