Are New York Jews Abandoning Obama?

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New York’s Jews aren’t overwhelmingly pro-Obama.

That’s one finding in a poll released last week by Siena College, and backed up by months of similar reports from the same organization.

The monthly survey of New York State voters breaks out the Jewish vote from the non-Jewish vote. The sample size of Jews is small, fewer than 100 in each poll, so fluctuations in responses from Jews don’t mean much. But while Jews do say they plan to vote for Obama over Romney — by 51% to 43% in the June poll — they don’t seem to support him in numbers much greater than the general population.

In June, 51% of Jews said they would vote Obama over Romney compared to 59% in the general population. In May, 62% of Jews said they would vote Obama over Romney compared to 57% of the general population. In April, 50% of Jews said they would vote for Obama over Romney compared to 60% of the general population.

Again, the month-to-month fluctuations are likely insignificant here. What’s notable is that Obama doesn’t seem to be doing any better among Jews in New York than among non-Jews. That’s surprising on its face, given that New York Jews have long been defined by a reputation for liberalism.

The Siena results may be less of a bad sign for Obama than they are a reaffirmation of what we learned last week — that New York’s Jews aren’t that liberal anymore. One of the most stunning findings in the UJA-Federation survey of New York-area Jews was that in New York City itself, the majority of Jews live in either Orthodox or Russian-speaking homes.

To quote myself:

This won’t mean much in the presidential election, where Obama is in absolutely no danger of losing New York. As Sheinkopf points out, though, it could lead to an absolute earthquake in state politics.

Written by

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis

Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.

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Are New York Jews Abandoning Obama?

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