Independent Poll Shows Jews Dramatically Supportive of Obama

— by David A. Harris

The findings released today by the Public Religion Research Institute confirm what we have been saying for years: the wide majority of American Jews are dramatically supportive of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party, and there has been no real change in Jewish support since 2008. Directly giving the lie to the myth of a supposed shift, the poll’s authors note that Jewish support for the President now is ‘nearly identical to levels of support for Obama among Jewish registered voters at a comparable point in the 2008 campaign.’ The new data also proves that the sweeping majority of American Jews are turned off by the Republican Party’s agenda — especially on woman’s right to choose, taxation, repealing Obamacare, the environment, marriage equality, and the use of Sharia law as a political straw man, among other issues.

The poll also found that most Jews strongly disapprove of the GOP’s presumed presidential nominee Mitt Romney — who even fails to excite Jewish Republicans. Today’s data serves as a sharp counter to those in the GOP who predict that Romney will be their candidate to make inroads in the Jewish community.  

In a deeply elemental way, this survey helps explain why American Jews have voted Democratic since the New Deal; not out of habit, but out of a sense of shared values. The poll’s findings of overwhelming support for Jewish values like tikkun olam (repairing the world), caring for the widow and the orphan, welcoming the stranger and pursuing justice all make clear why American Jews vote the way they do. These are core values shared by the Democratic Party; this is, in essence, why Jews vote Democratic.

After months of punditry, speculation, and inaccurate — as well as suspect — polling, we now have yet another legitimate, independent poll demonstrating that the Democratic Party remains the natural political home for American Jews.

Selected questions and results appear after the jump.
Q.1 Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as President?

58 Approve
34 Disapprove
5 Mixed (VOL.)
1 Other (SPECIFY)
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.4 In the 2008 presidential election between Barack Obama and John McCain, did you vote for Obama the Democrat, McCain the Republican, or did things come up that prevented you from voting? [ROTATE OPTIONS 1-2]

24 Voted for McCain, the Republican
63 Voted for Obama, the Democrat
10 Did not vote
2 Other (SPECIFY)
* Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.5 Looking ahead, would you like to see Barack Obama re-elected in 2012 or would you prefer that a Republican candidate win the election [ROTATE OPTIONS 1-2]

29 Republican candidate
62 Barack Obama
4 Undecided/Unsure (VOL.)
4 Other (SPECIFY)
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.7 And how excited would you be to cast a vote for [INSERT CANDIDATE]? Would you feel excited about your vote or not?

Barack Obama            Mitt Romney1
54                                38                    Excited
46                                61                    Not excited
1                                  1                      Refused  (VOL.)
—                                —
100                              100                  Total

1Other Republican candidates were not included because fewer than 100 respondents selected Santorum, Paul or Gingrich.

Q.8 If the elections for Congress we being held today, which party’s candidate would you vote for in your Congressional district — the Democratic Party’s candidate or the Republican Party’s candidate? [ROTATE OPTIONS 1-2]

64 The Democratic candidate
26 The Republican candidate
5 Undecided/Unsure (VOL.)
3 Other (SPECIFY)
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.15 Now we would like your views on some political leaders and groups. Please say whether your overall opinion of each of the following is very favorable, mostly favorable, mostly unfavorable, or very unfavorable. [RANDOMIZE LIST]

a. Mitt Romney

3 Very favorable
26 Mostly favorable
39 Mostly unfavorable
28 Very unfavorable
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

b. Barack Obama

16 Very favorable
45 Mostly favorable
17 Mostly unfavorable
20 Very unfavorable
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

e. The Democratic Party

8 Very favorable
51 Mostly favorable
24 Mostly unfavorable
14 Very unfavorable
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

f. The Republican Party

2 Very favorable
19 Mostly favorable
35 Mostly unfavorable
41 Very unfavorable
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.21 We would like to get your views on some issues that are being discussed in the country today. Do you favor or oppose the following issues? [RANDOMIZE LIST]

a. Allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally.

51 Strongly favor
30 Favor
10 Oppose
8 Strongly oppose
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

b. Allowing illegal immigrants brought into the U.S. as children to gain legal resident status if they join the military or go to college.

22 Strongly favor
48 Favor
20 Oppose
9 Strongly oppose
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

c. Tougher laws and regulations to protect the environment even if it raises prices or costs jobs.

24 Strongly favor
45 Favor
24 Oppose
6 Strongly oppose
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

d. Increasing the tax rate on Americans earning more than $1 million a year.

58 Strongly favor
23 Favor
11 Oppose
6 Strongly oppose
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

e. The Supreme Court overturning the recent health care law.

18 Strongly favor
22 Favor
31 Oppose
27 Strongly oppose
3 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.22 Do you think abortion should be…[RANDOMIZE LIST ORDER 1-4; 4-1]

49 Legal in all cases
44 Legal in most cases
6 Illegal in most cases
1 Illegal in all cases
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.24 Now, read each statement and please say if you completely agree, mostly agree, mostly disagree, or completely disagree with it. [RANDOMIZE LIST]

a. American Muslims are an important part of the religious community in the United States.

17 Completely agree
49 Mostly agree
23 Mostly disagree
9 Completely disagree
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

b. American Muslims ultimately want to establish Shari’a or Islamic law as law of the land in the United States.

7 Completely agree
15 Mostly agree
41 Mostly disagree
35 Completely disagree
2 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Q.32 How important are the following Jewish values for informing your political beliefs and political activity? [RANDOMIZE LIST]

a. Tikkun Olam, healing the world

35 Very important
37 Somewhat important
15 Not too important
13 Not at all important
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

b. Welcoming the stranger

26 Very important
46 Somewhat important
17 Not too important
10 Not at all important
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

c. Caring for the widow and the orphan

34 Very important
46 Somewhat important
10 Not too important
9 Not at all important
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

d. Pursuing justice

52 Very important
32 Somewhat important
6 Not too important
9 Not at all important
1 Refused (VOL.)

100 Total

Survey methodology is available here:…


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