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Poll Finds Jews Trending GOP

Though vast majority are still Democrats

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President Obama yesterday, on his way to the Vineyard.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

I argued yesterday that, as the midterm elections approach, the Israel issue is not seen as being broadly resonant. However, there is no reason it wouldn’t remain resonant within the Jewish community. In fact, the big new Pew poll—the same one that reported that 18 percent of Americans incorrectly believe President Obama is Muslim—found that 33 percent of American Jews identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, which is way up from 26 percent in 2006 and way, way up from 20 percent in 2008 (the year roughly 22 percent of Jews voted for Republican candidate John McCain).

Is this the beginning of a trend? Is it significant even to the midterm elections? Ron Kampeas is skeptical. Though Pew polled over 3000 people, only 60 identified as Jewish, and, according to Kampeas, “mainstream pollsters regard numbers below 250 respondents as unreliable.” On the other hand, that 60 figure represents two percent of the overall sample, closely reflecting Jews’ proportion of the population.

If there were nothing you could point to as an explanation for the jump, you might be more inclined to dismiss the figure. But given the reaction of some in the Jewish community to President Obama’s outreach to the Arab world and calls for an Israeli settlement freeze, as well as what the same poll told us about the (incorrect) suspicions over the president’s heritage, well, it just seems to make sense.

Most importantly, it is overall the most Republican-leaning year since before 2006 (since well before 2006, I’d argue): It would be weird if that didn’t show up in the Jewish polling numbers. While more comprehensive polls will hopefully come out soon, if I had to bet on it, though, I’d say the GOP-friendly trend is real.

Growing Number of Americans Say Obama Is Muslim [Pew]
Poll Suggests Surge in Jewish Support for GOP [JTA]
Earlier: Israel Unmentioned in Sestak Profile
Related: In Defining Obama, Misperceptions Stick [NYT]

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Clearly what we need is a poll of the Jewish population…

I would actually be very interested to see how many Jews, regardless of which of the two major parties they might typically support, would tend towards supporting a third party if they thought it was a viable option.

What IS the political makeup of American Jews? Are we more, less, or equally polarized over the popular issues compared to the general population?

Are we politically unified enough that it would be conceivable to get Jews voting en masse to try and turn the tides in elections (at least in areas where we are more concentrated…).

It’s not exactly a race (we hardly look it, at least), nor a religious affiliation (I’m an atheist Jew, for example). This makes it hard to grasp with the blunt instruments of standardized polls. I always end up having to choose between White and Middle Eastern, so how would they ever guess that I’m Jewish?

dave the locust says:

To my personal concept of what comprises “Jewish Values,” espousing conservatism and voting GOP is “Goyische” way beyond the pale.

I’d probably become a Christian before ever flipping over to the GOP.

At least Jesus was a liberal!

Me and Mitch McConnell? NEVER!

I see so much hype about Obama.. is he a suitable president in the opinion? Have your family found any amazing things till now undertaken courtesy of him ?

I see so very much hype about Obama.. is he a optimal president in your own opinion? Have your entire family found any amazing things till now achieved due to him ?

Ross Dworkin says:

all this is non-sense or wishful thinking.

I am afraid most of my fellow tribesman are hopelessly and naively liberal. Those of us with the sense to vote republican are between 22 and 26% – and it ain’t moving except in extreme circumstances (Reagan Carter) – and then it is returning. my people can’t help themselves.


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Poll Finds Jews Trending GOP

Though vast majority are still Democrats

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