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Jewish Support for Obama Dropped, Just Not Far Enough

According to the RJC, there was an increase by nearly 50% of the number of Jews choosing the Republican candidate to run this country.

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Photo Credit: YY

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In a series of exit polls conducted during Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, the Republican Jewish Coalition found that Jewish support for the President dropped from 78% in 2008 to 69%.

Matt Brooks, the executive director of the RJC said, “The results demonstrate that President Barack Obama and the Democrats saw a significant erosion of support from 2008, while Republicans continued their trend of the last several decades of making inroads in the Jewish community.”

According to the RJC, there was an increase by nearly 50% of the number of Jews choosing the Republican candidate to run this country.  The percentage of Jews voting Republican jumped from 22% to 32% nationally.  This ten-point gain is the largest leap from the Democratic party by Jews since 1972.

In a call today to members of the media, former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer pointed out that while the percentage of young and of Blacks voting for Obama dropped by three or four percentage points, the 10 % drop amongst Jewish voters is conspicuously large.

The survey, a national sample of 1000 Jewish voters, as well as a 600-person sample of Jewish voters in Ohio and a 600-person sample of Florida Jewish voters.

“The RJC is encouraged by the gains we made in 2012 and by the continuing movement in the Jewish community toward the GOP. Despite the discouraging election results, we’re pleased by the gains we have made in the Jewish community,” said Matt Brooks.

Of the 1000 voters in the national poll, 48.9 % said they are Reform Jews, and only 11.9 % are Orthodox, while about 20 % said they attend synagogue at least once every week.  Almost 14 % said they never attend synagogue, even for the high holidays.
For 21.5% of those polled, a full 21.5 % said that Israel is of no importance to them, while 76.5% said they consider Israel to be either very or somewhat important.
Only respondents who said they were Jewish were included in the poll results.
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About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.

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112 Responses to “Jewish Support for Obama Dropped, Just Not Far Enough”

  1. Ira shows us how dangerous a narrow view of the world is. Perhaps if he risked becoming pregnant every time he had sex his view would be less narrow.

  2. Charlie Hall says:

    The Republican Jewish Coalition got the same numbers in their poll — 69% for Obama.

    And it even found that Obama won among Orthodox Jews by 48% to 44%.

  3. Myriam Obadia says:

    I'm not speaking of Halakha tolerating a few rare abortions. I am speaking of the Tanakh and the Talmud. In case of risk to the mother's life -or even to the welfare of the children she's already raising, an abortion is recommended by our rabbis, our sages, and the ones who spent their lives commenting and explaining our laws (Maimonides included), but the choice is entirely up to the woman, from the day she learns she is pregnant until the moment before the head crowns. That, Ira, is even much more "liberal" than the US or the Israeli law.

  4. Karen Berger says:

    Yori, I always vote with Israel in mind — and I voted for Obama. Here in America, we had a lot to lose in hitching our wagon to the current Republican party. They have adopted an extremist position on many social justice issues that would have a profound and long-lasting effect America. I was not convinced that Obama was not sufficiently pro-Israel and that Romney wouldn't be a foreign policy nightmare. I thought long and hard about my vote. Do not, for a moment, think that I didn't fully consider all aspects of this election.

  5. Karen Berger says:

    Here in America, a woman has the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. Obama's Christianity has nothing to do with anything. Our country is predicated on the idea that there is a separation of church (as a religious body) and state. The reasoning being that people should have the right to religious freedom and not whether any given religious ideology dictate a given individual's behavior.

  6. Avram Patt – AND, Vermont also has a Jewish Governor, and a Jew from the Bronx who runs one of its electric coops. I believe a full investigation must be had.

  7. I agree Hinda, the ballots have yet to be counted and it does take gall to declare a winner before all of the results are firm.
    Jonathan Beer, you must be drinking the Isalmic Koo-aid if you believe for one minute Obama is pro-Israel. What he says and how he acts in regard to Israel are opposite ends of the spectrum.

  8. There is NO provision in the US constitution a so-called 'separation of church and state'. What is established that the government CANNOT prevent the free expression of a religion nor can it establish one itself as was the condition at the time in England.

  9. I am happy to be one of the 70% of American Jews who voted for Obama. Neither candidate was perfect. Neither ever is. But Obama's policies and programs are more closely aligned with the long Jewish traditions of concerns for social justice which I endorse. I am convinced that Obama's policies so more to promote the strength and fundamental interests of the United States Romney's would have done. Also, I do not see any way that any American President could have supported Israel more strongly than did Obama. Don't expect any American President, Democrat or Republican, to send US troops to defend Israel.

  10. to Michael Blum, I agree with you. I voted for Obama because 1) I believe his economic policies, grounded in modern economics which includes the Keynesian as well as the Monetarist fundamentals, aims to provide an economic stimulus to increase aggregate demand and improve the environment for business investment. He also supports building up our infrastructure. The conservative Republican policies have degenerated to the level of Herbert Hoover style economics and if implemented will produce the same results that Hoover got. 2) I support broadly his social agenda which, I believe, is aligned with the millenia-old Jewish concern for social justice. Neither of these directly benefit Israel but it's hard to see how we could help Israel anyway if we descend into a depression. Obama appears to have supported Israel on every major issue that came up in the UN. It's hard to see where he could have done better. Like you, I support the candidate who is best for America. But I also doubt that Romney would do anything for Israel that would be more beneficial that what Obama will do.

  11. Sure. It's not like he requested $3,000,000, the most in security assistance for Israel of any President.

  12. KAren- You are delusional. 'nuff said.

  13. Charlie Hall says:

    " Christians do not believe in abortions or same sex marriages"

    Actually there are some Christian groups that don't have a problem with same sex marriages, and lots of Christian groups that don't have a problem with abortion. And these are not marginal groups but the Churches that are among the oldest in America.

    " he doesn't come to the aid of Israel"

    Actually US-Israel military cooperation is at the highest level in history.

  14. Charlie Hall says:

    Diane L. Logan "the government CANNOT prevent the free expression of a religion nor can it establish one itself "

    Uh, that is precisely the definition of separation of church and state.

  15. Charlie Hall says:

    Ira L. Jacobson "abortion is highly against Torah law except in very special cases"

    There are a lot of those "very special cases".

  16. Myriam Obadia says:

    Diane, I tend to think Jefferson -as one of those who signed the US Constitution- knew a little more what it meant to say than you do

  17. Myriam Obadia says:

    yep, they include the one in which a breast feeding mother is to abort if she gets pregnant, so as not to deprive the older child of her milk. That one is in the torah and has been extended in the Talmud commentaries as meaning that -if a new child would interfere in anyway with the care a woman gives her family- abortion is recommended. Remark: it says recommended not tolerated.

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