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!
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • 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.