Economy Spurred Jewish Vote for Obama: Poll

Survey Showed 68% of Jews Chose President in 2012

getty images

By JTA

Published January 17, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

he economy was the strongest determinant for Jews who voted for Barack Obama, according to an analysis of polling data.

“Not only do Jews hold fairly liberal to progressive positions on economic justice issues, their views on such matters emerge as the principal decision-making fulcrum in their choice for president, as well as for senators and congressional representatives,” said a report by Workmen’s Circle/Arbeter Ring published Wednesday.

The survey showed that 68 percent of respondents voted for President Obama and 32 percent for Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, and that there were similar liberal-conservative splits on a range of issues, including the economy, abortion, gay rights, climate change and immigration.

However, a statistical analysis of the results showed that the predictive power of economic issues was the largest, according to Steven Cohen, a professor at New York University’s Berman Jewish Policy Archive who analyzed the data with Samuel Abrams, a professor at Sarah Lawrence College.

“All of your predictions” about voting “could be done just by knowing economic justice alone,” Cohen told JTA.

Among other findings, by a 43 percent to 31 percent margin, respondents agreed that “Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently,” and by a 50 percent to 28 percent margin, respondents wanted to preserve benefits under Medicare, the medical insurance program for those over 65 now facing Republican demands for cost reductions.

Cohen and Abrams ran a regression analysis on the data to determine the relationship between variables; the only other variable that came as close to views on the economy in predicting a voting outcome was views on climate change, Cohen said.

The analysis was drawn from research by YouGov, a company that targets respondents through market research.

Respondents self-identifying as Jewish numbered 2,067 and responded through email. The margin of error was 2 percentage points.

Workmen’s Circle was established in 1900 as a Jewish labor rights group.


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!
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • 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.