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Jewish Support for Possible Iran Strike Over Nukes Dips in AJC Poll

The annual American Jewish Committee poll of American Jews shows a decrease in support for a U.S. strike on Iran should diplomacy not end its suspected nuclear weapons program.

According to the 2013 poll released Monday, 52 percent of American Jews favor such a strike – 24 percent strongly and 28 percent somewhat.

That’s down from last year’s poll, when 64.1 percent of respondents said they would support such a strike, 36.1 percent somewhat, and 28 percent strongly.

There was a smaller drop in support for an Israeli strike in such a case: 67 percent this year as opposed to 72.5 percent last year, almost within the poll’s margin of error of 5 percentage points.

The poll also showed a drop in support in confidence in how President Obama is handling national security, although he still commanded strong majority support.

His score last year of 76.8 percent dropped to 67 percent this year.

Among politicians who might seek the presidency in 2016, Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state, U.S. senator from New York and first lady, scored highest on a scale of how warmly respondents felt about a likely candidate.

She earned an average of 60 on a scale of 0-100, followed by 45 for Vice President Joe Biden, 40 for Secretary of State John Kerry and 37 for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie – the highest Republican on the list. Scoring lowest was Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a leader of the Tea Party movement, at 20.

The online poll of 1,034 American Jews was conducted between Sept. 30 and Oct. 15 by KnowledgePanel, owned by the GfK group.

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