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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Obama and the Jewish Vote

An earlier post dealt with Jewish support for POTUS in light of the Turner victory in NY. A release from the American Jewish Committee:
Disappointment with President Obama’s handling of the economy and U.S.-Israel relations has caused a falloff in Jewish support for the administration, a just-completed national survey by AJC, a non-partisan advocacy organization, shows.

For the first time during Obama’s presidency, disapproval among Jewish voters exceeded approval of his performance. Jewish approval of Obama’s handling of his job as president declined to 45 percent, with another 48 percent disapproving and 7 percent undecided, according to the survey, conducted from September 6 to 21, 2011. In the last annual AJC survey, a year ago, 51 percent approved, and 44 percent disapproved.

“AJC annual surveys seek to provide timely information on the attitudes of Jews across our nation regarding the pressing issues confronting our community and the country,” said AJC Executive David Harris. “Just as in previous years, this year’s survey offers a treasure-trove of data – and, as always, a few surprises.” One of the most striking findings is the divergence of opinion between Orthodox Jews and the views of Conservative and Reform Jews.

The full 2011 survey, as well as previous AJC annual surveys, are available at

2012 Presidential Election Looking ahead to the 2012 presidential race, the AJC survey revealed that if the election were held today, Obama would still hold a considerable lead over potential Republican challengers among Jewish voters. But the margin differed significantly depending on which candidate the GOP fields.

Mitt Romney would get 32 percent of the Jewish vote, according to the poll, against Obama’s 50 percent. Another 16 percent of respondents said they wouldn’t vote for either of the two candidates, and 2 percent were undecided.

Rick Perry would get 25 percent of the vote against Obama’s 55 percent, with another 18 percent voting for neither, and 2 percent undecided.

Michele Bachmann would receive 19 percent of the vote against Obama’s 59 percent, with 21 percent voting for neither, and 1 percent undecided.

In 2008, Obama garnered 78 percent of the Jewish vote, compared to 22 percent for John McCain.
Exit polls have tracked the GOP share of the Jewish vote in presidential elections. Note the abrupt dropoff between 1988 and 1992, reflecting an aversion to the religious right: