Another opinion poll was released reporting s a deterioration of Barack Obama's support in the Jewish Community. What makes this set of results surprising is the poll was conducted by the American Jewish Committee, a group who's leanings are so liberal, it chastises more conservative Jewish organizations that criticize Obama's Israel policy
. Another surprise in the survey (at lease for those unfamiliar with Jewish voters) is that Israel is just one of the issues driving Jews away from Obama.
For the first time since his inauguration, the annual AJC poll
shows more Jews disapproving of Obama's performance than approving. Approval of Obama’s performance declined to 45 percent, and disapproval rose to 48 percent. Last year's AJC survey reported 51 percent approved, and 44 percent disapproved.
Key areas of Jewish voter disapproval are the economy (duh), and immigration. Foreign policy is a wash and most Jews approve of the President's performance with National Security and Energy.
As expected, the President's Israel Policy meets with disapproval.
Note: the only people who believe that Jews approve of his policy are members of the Democratic caucuses in either house of Congress, people who work for the DNC, or Obama reelection campaign or members of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Of course the NJDC wouldn't criticize Obama even if he woke up one day and (God forbid) decided to bomb Tel Aviv.
It would be hard for those folks to deny the objection to Obama and Israel now as the results aren't even close.
Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration's handling of U.S. -Israel relations?
Interestingly the Israeli Prime Minster Netanyahu, not a favorite amongst the liberal Jewish Community in the US has a better approval story than Obama.
Do you approve or disapprove of the Netanyahu government's handling of Israel-U.S. relations?
The poll also asks how they would vote in an Obama election against:
- Romney (Obama 50%, Romney 32%, Neither 16%)
- Perry (Obama 55%, Perry 25%, Neither 18%)
- Bachmann (Obama 59%, Bachmann 19%, Neither 21%)
A few things to point out, Obama beats each of the above, but in each case his percent of the vote is lower than his 2008 total. Based on the poll Obama's 2012 performance with Jews depends on who the Republicans put up. It is very early, and actual Jewish support for each of these GOP candidates could be much higher or much lower because Jewish Democrats are not familiar with the GOP candidates (except for what the mainstream media slanders about them).
In the end this study doesn't show that Obama will lose the Jewish vote in 2012, nor should it. I would be very surprised if Obama lost the Jewish vote in 2012. What it does show is the GOP has an opportunity to steal enough Jewish votes to make a difference in some key states. The large "none of the above" numbers reflect the possibility that Jewish voters may become so frustrated with the choice of candidates that a big segment of them may stay home. This hurts the Democrats. Based on historic trends 70-80% of those Jews who stay home will be votes lost to the Democratic candidate.
And most important IMHO, is that it kills the argument of many unfamiliar with Jewish voters. Israel is not the only issue that shapes their election picks.