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C CAIR-FL In The News

Stuart admits conducting poll, says it wasn't anti-Muslim

By Jeff Weiner, For Orlando Sentinel , On 01 August 2017, Read Original
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City Commissioner Robert Stuart acknowledged Monday that his campaign was responsible for a phone poll that asked about his opponent’s Muslim religion but insisted the poll did not present her faith in a negative light.

“There is so much misinformation and division being spread by my opponent’s campaign that it should cause everyone to be concerned,” he said in a statement released by his campaign.


Stuart previously wouldn’t say if he commissioned the poll, citing a policy against discussing “the internal workings of a campaign.” On Monday, he released what he said was the wording of the poll question that asked about Azam’s religion.

He said the survey was conducted by Orlando pollster Jim Kitchens. According to Stuart’s campaign, voters were read this statement and asked whether it made them more or less likely to support Azam: “Asima Azam is a wife, mom of three and a real estate attorney. She has served on Orlando’s Building and Zoning Board but has never run for political office before. News reports state that if she won, she would be the first Muslim American elected to the Orlando City Commission.


Rose said he recalled there being multiple questions that mentioned Azam’s faith. He and the other voter, Matt Lonam, also said they recalled being asked about Azam’s faith separately from other characteristics, such as her work as an attorney.

Stuart said the poll question “was intended to find out the qualities voters might find positive about my opponent.”

But Brian Mills, Azam’s campaign manager, said Stuart’s delay in publicly accepting responsibility for the poll suggested otherwise. “If they’re going to claim that the poll was a positive poll, they need to release the entire poll,” he said.


“In such a diverse and vibrant city like Orlando, there is no room for this kind of discrimination in our politics and our commissioners,” said Rasha Mubarak, the group’s Central Florida regional director.

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