Obama Riding High With Jewish Voters

President Is on Track To Win Large Majority in November

Still the One: President Obama enjoys very strong support among Jewish voters. Just 7% of those who voted for him in 2008 say they won’t do so this time around.
getty images
Still the One: President Obama enjoys very strong support among Jewish voters. Just 7% of those who voted for him in 2008 say they won’t do so this time around.

By Nathan Guttman

Published April 03, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Democrats give significantly more weight than to social equality than Republicans (54% to 22%) while support for Israel is the prominent factor among Republicans compared to Democrats(37% to 15%).

A slim majority of 54% of Jews think relations between the U.S. and Israel are as good as they were in the past, but a significant minority of 37% say relations have worsened in recent years. This feeling is stronger among Republicans, older Jews, and those who are affiliated with synagogues. When it comes to President Obama’s dealing with the Mideast conflict, only 20% agree both with Obama’s policies and with the way they’ve been executed; 15% like the policies but not the way Obama carried them out; and 28% disagree with Obama’s policies on the issue. More than a third of American Jews do not have an opinion on Obama’s policy toward the Israeli–Arab conflict.

American Jews support the establishment of a Palestinian state, with 53% backing the idea.

On Iran, nearly six in ten American Jews support a U.S. military action against Iran’s nuclear sites if economic sanctions fail. Republican Jews feel stronger on this issue than Jews who vote Democratic. At the same time, American Jews do not rank Iran as Israel’s greatest problem. Nine out of ten respondents pointed to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict as the main source of concern while only 83% believe it is Iran.

Jewish Americans, the survey found, strongly believe the government should play a greater role in reducing gaps between rich and poor and an overwhelming majority support the “Buffett rule” which calls for increasing tax for the rich. Most Jewish Americans (52%) state they’ll agree to pay more taxes to fund programs that help the poor. Jewish American also check all other boxes when it comes to defining liberal political positions. They strongly support abortion rights (93%), same-sex marriage (81%), and environmental regulation (69%). They believe the Supreme Court should not overturn health care laws.

When asked to rate whether public figures represent Jewish values, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came in first with 73%, followed by Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan and New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Senator Joseph Lieberman and comedian Jon Stewart are seen by 60% or more of respondents as representing Jewish values, while Majority Leader Eric Cantor and comedian Sarah Silverman share a lower rating of less than 40% seeing them as representing Jewish values.

Looking into the religious beliefs, the survey puts Reform as the largest denomination (35%) followed by Conservative (26%), Orthodox (8%), Reconstructionist (1%) and the “Just Jewish” or non-denominational Jews with 29%. These results are consistent with previous surveys of the Jewish community.

Synagogue affiliation, the survey found, is reatively low, with only 35% of Jews report to be members of a synagogue. The most important holiday for Jews is Yom Kippur (43%) followed by Passover (25%) with two thirds of Jewish respondents saying they plan to attend a Passover seder this year.

Nathan Guttman can be reached at guttman@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • PHOTOS: 10,000 Israel supporters gathered for a solidarity rally near the United Nations in New York yesterday.
  • Step into the Iron Dome with Tuvia Tenenbom.
  • What do you think of Wonder Woman's new look?
  • "She said that Ruven Barkan, a Conservative rabbi, came into her classroom, closed the door and turned out the lights. He asked the class of fourth graders to lie on the floor and relax their bodies. Then, he asked them to pray for abused children." Read Paul Berger's compelling story about a #Savannah community in turmoil:
  • “Everything around me turns orange, then a second of silence, then a bomb goes off!" First installment of Walid Abuzaid’s account of the war in #Gaza:
  • Is boredom un-Jewish?
  • Let's face it: there's really only one Katz's Delicatessen.
  • "Dear Diaspora Jews, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you can’t have it both ways. You can’t insist that every Jew is intrinsically part of the Israeli state and that Jews are also intrinsically separate from, and therefore not responsible for, the actions of the Israeli state." Do you agree?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.