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Survey: Jewish voters want Obama back, see economy as top concern

Reuters

April 3, 2012 | 11:06 am

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. on March 30. Photo by REUTERS/Larry Downing

President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vt. on March 30. Photo by REUTERS/Larry Downing

Jewish registered voters see the economy as the most important issue, and nearly two-thirds support President Barack Obama’s re-election, according to a new survey.

The 62 percent of Jewish voters backing Obama’s return was more than twice the number who said they would prefer a Republican candidate, according to the survey released April 3 at a National Press Club briefing. The poll of 1,004 American Jews was conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.

Mitt Romney, at 58 percent, had the greatest support among Jews who would vote Republican. Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul trail with 15 percent, 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively. Seven percent of Jews who voted for Obama in 2008 said they would prefer a Republican candidate in 2012.

The survey looked at how Jewish values, experiences and identity are shaping political beliefs and behavior, as well as influencing social action in the Jewish community.

Some 51 percent of Jewish voters said the economy would be most important to their vote for the next president. Fifteen percent cited the gap between rich and the poor, 10 percent said health care, and 7 percent saw the federal deficit as being important to their vote.  

The survey also found 84 percent saying that pursuing justice and 80 percent saying that caring for the widow and orphan are somewhat or very important values that inform their political beliefs and activities.

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