I’m often asked by fellow conservatives why so many Jews support Barack Obama, given how bad he is for Israel. The answer is that Jews who care most about Israel, and about U.S. security, don’t–but also that most Jews don’t put those issues first.
A recent survey of American Jews, produced by the American Jewish Committee and reported here by Ha’aretz, provides the data:
The poll, which was published by the American Jewish Committee, reveals that the majority of the community will vote for President Obama in November. According to the poll, 61% of the U.S. Jews support Obama, 28% support his Republican rival Mitt Romney, and 11% are undecided. A survey published about a month ago by the Public Religion Research Institute has revealed pretty much the same numbers – 62% for Obama and 30% for Romney….
Among Jews who are more focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42 percent would vote for Obama, while 44 percent of those who cite national security and 45 percent of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations as their respective top priorities prefer to vote for Mitt Romney.
So, it would appear that the verdict is in on Obama’s record on Israel. Otherwise, however, Jewish voters back Obama, partly–in my personal view–because many Jews still bear an outdated fear of Christian conservatives, and a misplaced (and rather ironic) trust in big government. Whether the pro-Israel Romney vote is enough to make a difference in November is just one of the many political mysteries the next six months will unravel.