Jewish Journal

AJC national poll: 65% Jews for Obama; 24% for Romney

by Jonah Lowenfeld

September 27, 2012 | 5:24 pm

President Barack Obama is expected to win a strong majority of Jewish votes in November, according to a national survey released by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) on Sept. 27.

Out of 1,040American Jews polled earlier this month, 65 percent of them said they were likely to cast ballots for Obama, while only 24 percent said they were likely to vote for his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts’ Governor Mitt Romney.

Of the 10 percent of voters polled who said they were still undecided, the group split along a similar line, with 63 percent leaning toward Obama and 27 percent leaning toward Romney.

Incorporating those undecided voters leaning each way into the overall result for Obama and Romney suggests that the President could win reelection with 71 percent of the Jewish vote.

That’s less than the 78 percent of Jewish votes the President took in 2008, but would still seem to be quite a far cry from the mass exodus of Jewish voters that was predicted by some pundits and partisan groups.

In releasing the results, AJC noted, “a striking divide by denomination.” Orthodox Jews support Romney by a margin of 54 to 40 percent; all other Jews prefer Obama by margins of at least forty percentage points.

When it comes to the issues motivating Jewish voters to vote for either Obama or Romney, the issue driving most Jewish voters is the economy; 90 percent of those surveyed ranked the economy as one of the top three issues they care about when considering whom to vote for.

By contrast, Jewish voters are far less likely to consider the U.S.-Israel relationship in deciding whom to vote for in November. Only 14.8 percent of Jewish voters ranked it as one of their top three issues that would guide them in casting their ballots.

Just because an issue doesn’t rank in the top three that drive most American Jews to vote one way or another, though, doesn’t mean that Jews aren’t concerned about the issue at all.

Only 6.4 percent of Jews ranked “Iran’s Nuclear Program” among their top three vote-driving concerns, but when asked how concerned they were about Iran’s obtaining a nuclear weapon, a majority – 55 percent – said they were very concerned, and an additional 32 percent responded that they were somewhat concerned.

Read the entire survey results here.

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