New Poll Shows Why Jews Supported Democrats In 2012

A Century of Jewish Voting in America

— by David Streeter

The new polling data released by the Workmen’s Circle provides the clearest proof yet as to why the sweeping majority of American Jews voted to reelect President Barack Obama in 2012.

On the key domestic issues that decided the election, American Jews are firmly aligned with the Democratic Party. According to the survey, clear majorities of the Jewish community stand with President Obama and the Democratic Party when it comes to:

  • Spending on social safety net programs;
  • Helping the poor;
  • Preventing drastic cuts to Medicare;
  • Responding to climate change;
  • Protecting a woman’s right to choose;
  • Supporting marriage equality;
  • Reforming America’s immigration system; and
  • Many other pressing domestic issues.

More after the jump.
The Workmen’s Circle summarized their findings:

  • American Jews consistently favor increasing spending on social welfare and regulating big business, in the midst of an election focused on budget deficits and taxation.
  • By a two-to-one ratio, Jewish voters see government regulation of business as necessary to protect the public interest, rather than ‘usually doing more harm than good’ (55% vs. 28%).
  • Asked to choose between the contrasting positions of fewer government services with reduced spending vs. many more services with increased spending, Jews in the survey opted for the latter (43% vs. 37%).
  • By more than a two-to-one ratio, Jewish voters prefer decreasing defense spending to increasing defense spending (53% vs. 26%).
  • By a 43% to 31% margin, more American Jews agreed with the view that, ‘Poor people have hard lives because government benefits don’t go far enough to help them live decently,’ than with the position that ‘Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.’
  • By almost a two-to-one ratio, respondents expressed the belief that Medicare can be preserved without cutting benefits (50% vs. 28%).
  • Commitment to economic justice issues is so widespread in the American Jewish population that it extends even to the highest income Jews. Those earning over $250,000 express liberal views on economic justice as frequently as those earning far less. Jews earning $250,000 or more were as likely as lower-earning Jews to vote for Obama and other Democrats….
  • Accompanying the liberal and progressive stances on economic justice issues were a variety of positions of similar political coloration on issues like climate change, abortion, immigration and same-sex marriage.

The poll’s summary is available here, and the full poll results are available here as a pdf.  

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