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National, Fla. Polls Show Obama Gaining Support Among Jewish Voters

It’s a little early for Barack Obama’s campaign to breath a sigh of relief and say a few Amens, but two new polls of Jewish voters offer some good news for the Democratic presidential nominee.

An analysis by Gallup based on its daily tracking poll and interviews with more than 500 Jewish voters shows that Jewish voters have grown much more comfortable with Obama.

It found that 74 percent of Jewish voters now support Obama. That’s a tad lower than what exit polls showed John Kerry and Al Gore won in 2004 and 2000, but it’s shows huge gains for Obama in the last few months.

A Quinnipiac University poll of 1,433 Florida voters shows Obama leading Republican John McCain by a 77 percent to 20 percent margin among Jewish voters included in a survey.

One note of caution in the Q-Poll numbers – the Jewish sample survey carries a whopping 10.5 percent margin of error because of the small sample of Jews in the larger survey, which had a 2.6 percent margin of error. Given their methodology, Quinnipiac pollsters, however, believe the number is probably pretty close to accurate despite the large potential margin of error.

Jewish support for Obama has risen gradually from the low 60 percent range in June and July to 66 percent in August, 69 percent in September, and now 74 percent, according to Gallup.

With just under two weeks until the Nov. 4 election, “The current proportion of U.S. Jews backing Obama is identical to the level of support the Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards received in the 2004 presidential election (74%),” and “It is only slightly lower than what Al Gore and Joe Lieberman received in 2000 (80%) – when the first Jewish American appeared on the presidential ticket of a major party,” according to Gallup.

And while there has been much concern about a generational divide and the potential of bigotry that could keep some older Jews from supporting Obama, or cause them to vote for Republican John McCain, Gallup reports that “support for Obama is a bit higher among older Jews than among Jews younger than 55.”

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