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Jewish voters overwhelmingly approve Biden, new poll shows

Eight in 10 American Jews approve of President Biden’s performance during his first six months in office, according to a new poll published on Tuesday, and most support his management of the recent conflagration between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip and the broader Mideast conflict.

Another key finding: 25% of American Jews agree with the statement that “Israel is an apartheid state,” including 38% of Jews under the age of 40.

The poll of 800 registered voters commissioned by GBAO Strategies for the non-partisan Jewish Electorate Institute showed that 74%of Jewish voters approve of the way Biden is handling the U.S.-Israel relationship and 62% support the way he managed the recent flare-up between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip; 21% oppose the administration’s handling of that war.

At the same time, 61% support the two-state solution to the conflict, according to the poll, and 62% support the Biden administration’s restoration this spring of U.S. aid to the Palestinians that was cut by President Donald Trump.

And 9 in 10 of those polled are concerned about the rise of antisemitism in the U.S., though 38% feel safer as a Jewish person living in the U.S. since Biden became president. Asked about the origins of antisemitism, 61% said they are concerned about threats from the political right, and 22% from the left.

The survey was conducted between June 28 and July 1 via online and text-to-web with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.

An exit poll conducted by the same firm for J Street suggested that Jewish voters supported Biden over former Trump 77% to 21% in the 2020 election. But another exit poll, by the Associated Press, found that 68% of Jews voted for Biden and 30% for Trump, and yet another, sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, put Jewish support for Biden at 60%.

Support for Biden on Israel issues appears to have risen considerably from a pre-election survey by the same Jewish Electoral Institute in which 46% of Jewish voters said they trusted Biden over Trump in handling U.S.-Israel relations.

Former President Barack Obama also enjoyed a high approval rating among Jews in his first year. A Gallup poll published in May of 2009 showed Obama with 79% approval. But that dropped to 66% in 2010 and 54% during his 2012 re-election campaign. Trump had a 21% approval and 77% disapproval rating among Jewish voters during his first year as president, according to a survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee.

Overall, Biden is viewed favorably by 70% of Jewish voters, according to the new survey, 10 points lower than the 80% who approve of his performance so far; Trump’s favorability is at 18%. Reflecting the Democratic tilt of the Jewish-American electorate, the poll found only 10% have favorable views of the Republican congressional leaders, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy while Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have favorability ratings above 50%.

Other highlights:

  • Biden’s job approval among Orthodox voters is at 31%, while 44% approve of his handling of U-S-Israel relations, and 37% were satisfied with his handling of the Israel-Gaza conflict.
  • 65% of Jewish Americans overall trust Biden to do a better job handling the Iranian threat than Trump did.
  • 61% of those polled identify themselves as Democrats, 17% as Republican and 22% as independent.
  • If the 2022 midterm elections were held now, these voters would support Democrats over Republicans 68% to 21%.
  • 83% are concerned about the laws recently passed in Florida and Georgia that restrict voter access.
  • 62% support eliminating the filibuster to pass voting-rights legislation in the Senate.
  • 62% feel emotionally attached to Israel and 87% think that someone can be critical of Israeli government policies and still be considered pro-Israel.
  • 71% believe U.S. aid to Israel is critical, yet 58% support restricting military aid to settlements in the occupied West Bank.
  • 30% think the new Israeli government headed by Naftali Bennett will strengthen relations between Israel and the U.S.; 62% say it will make no difference or are not sure.

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