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A Few More Thoughts on That Poll

Are Jews turning away from the Dems? Survey says: perhaps!

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Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz last year.(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A few scattered thoughts on yesterday’s Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll, which showed Jews leaning away from the Democratic Party.

• Shmuel Rosner notes that Jews aren’t trending toward the Republicans so much as away from the Democrats (and toward independent status). He also notes that in the context of this Pew poll, the 2011 results actually see an uptick in Jewish identification with the Democrats over the 2010 results. It’s still down since President Obama’s election, though.

• Jonathan Tobin has no proof for his contention that Israel is the prime reason that, since Obama’s election, Jews have disproportionately turned away from the Democratic Party … but I largely buy it. What else would it be? (How many lefty Jews disgusted by Obama’s various compromises, for example, would have identified as Democrats in the first place? Also, c’mon?) I also agree that this is important because Pennsylvania and Florida are going to be in play.

• Tobin also writes, “Liberal Jews remain far more afraid of conservative Christians than Hamas terrorists.” I suppose this is technically, semantically true, but I think there is probably a fairer way of putting it, hmm?

• If we saw Jews turn away from a sitting Democratic president, the operative word might not be “Democratic” but “sitting”: as Dan Klein reported in Tablet Magazine, since Nixon, and excepting George W. Bush, Jews have disproportionately turned against every elected president running for re-election.

• The 2011 poll had a Jewish sample size of 330 and a margin of error of 6.5 percent.

Jews Shift Toward GOP, Survey Claims [Forward]
Related: Do We Now Have Proof Jews Are Trending Republican? [Jewish Journal Rosner’s Domain]
Obama’s Israel Problem Cause of Democrat Losses Among Jews [Commentary Contentions]
Sitting Duck [Tablet Magazine]

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Not Michael says:

I don’t think that Obama has a general Jewish problem. You can’t say “the Jews” are turning away from him or turning towards him. American Jewry is too diverse for that.

But Obama does seem to have a problem with Orthodox Jews (if they ever supported him anyway) and Jews over 50.

The latter demographic especially tends to view Jewish-American politics disproportionately through the lens of support for Israel. Non-Orthodox Jewish American voters under 40 tend to have more conflicted or nuanced views about Israel, at least under its current prime minister. When the president says he is strongly critical of Netanyahu but he’s still strongly pro-Israel, non-Orthodox Jews under 40 believe him. Jews after 50 don’t.

I suspect that the
Majority of liberal Jews will not march on the white house when Obama turns his head away from protecting israel’s back when war begins

Silence is murder.

I suspect you underestimate the numbers of left leaning Jews who identified as Democrats but are disgusted by Obama’s pro-banker bailouts and his failure to restore the rule of law in the US.

dj spellchecka says:

i suspect liberal and moderates are rapidly moving away from the republican presidential candidates… call me back when the exit polls are up in november

Phil N says:

The rael quetion is why so many Jews stick with this president. He is clearly anti Israel (his rhetoric changes a little when he wants Jewish money). He is also clearly incompetent, saddling future generations with mountains of debt, much of it to support his political cronies. I suppose some of his Jewish support is out force of habit but overall the supposedly smart Jews are looking stupid.

donyel ben aharon says:

I read another article summarizing this study provided by Voz Iz Neis. The article contained no numbers that made any sense, was incoherent, yet purported to show that Jews were converting to the Repugnican Party. Most of the Comments were similar to what the article actually conveyed – a virulent antiObama, antiDems stance of the Far Right that never lets facts get in the way. Thanks for clarifying what the study actually TENDED to show.

brynababy says:

Phil N. what a crock of Republican you-know-what. Obama is strongly behind Israel, He is incredibly competent and has done so much even against Repubs in Congress putting up walls against everything he tries to do. But despite you all, the economy is growing, unemployment is way down, and Jewish values are being carried out by this President. Your ugly comments make my blood boil- and I am well over 50 and a liberal to boot!! P.S. I support Israel totally!


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