Polls: Democrats Score Big Win With Jewish Voters

By Jennifer Siegel

Published November 08, 2006, issue of November 10, 2006.

The elections are over (except for a few recounts), but Jewish Democrats and Jewish Republicans are still doing battle — with competing poll results relating to Jewish voting patterns.

Democrats are touting the results of an independent nonpartisan national survey that was conducted for the National Election Pool by Edison Media Research of Somerville, N.J., and by Mitofsky International of New York City. The survey found that 87% of Jewish voters backed Democratic candidates in Tuesday’s races for the House of Representatives. The consortium, which includes major television news networks and The Associated Press, polled 13,208 voters in 249 precincts across the United States, including a sample of 265 Jewish voters. According to The New York Times, while the poll’s margin of error for statewide samples would, in theory, be no more than three or four points in 95% of cases, the results for smaller subgroups such as Jews have a larger potential sampling error.

Jewish Republicans argued that the sample size was too small, and the Republican Jewish Coalition released its own exit polls, conducted by GOP pollster Arthur Finkelstein. An RJC press release declared that the GOP had won 26.4% of the Jewish vote; at the bottom, however, the statement noted that the poll was based on a sample from three highly competitive areas. The survey polled 300 Jewish voters from Florida’s 22nd congressional district, 300 Jewish voters from Pennsylvania’s sixth district and 400 Jewish voters from the state of New Jersey. In its statement, the RJC only released information on House races and said the poll had a 3% margin of error.


The original version of this story misstated the number of Jewish voters polled by the National Election Poll as 200, rather than 265.



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