web analytics
April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Democrats’

Polls: Obama Making Big Gains Among Jewish Voters

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama is making significant gains among Jewish voters, according to two polls released last week.


  The polls suggest that after months of hovering around 60 percent, Obama appears to be within striking distance of the 75-80 percent of the Jewish vote won by the three previous Democratic nominees for president.


  A Gallup tracking poll of 564 Jewish registered voters, taken over the first three weeks of October, found Obama leading Republican John McCain by a 74-22 percent margin. That was a 13-point increase in support for the Democratic nominee since Gallup’s July poll, which had Obama leading 61-34 percent.


  Gallup also released Jewish data from tracking polls in the two previous months showing a steady rise for Obama. The Illinois senator garnered 66 percent in August and 69 percent in September, with McCain at 25 percent for both months. The margin of error for the October survey is plus or minus 5 percent.


  Meanwhile, a Qunnipiac University poll taken Oct. 16-21 in Florida found Obama winning 77 percent of Jewish voters in that state to just 20 percent for McCain.


  While the Jewish statistic in the latter poll was based on a relatively small sample size of 87, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 10.5 percent, the finding is notable because some leading Jewish Democrats in the state had publicly worried this summer about resistance to Obama among South Florida Jews.


  Some Democratic operatives say concerns over Obama’s lack of experience seem to have been overtaken in some Jewish voters’ minds by worries over the inexperience of Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, as well as the Alaska governor’s conservative political views on hot-button social issues such as abortion.


  An American Jewish Committee survey in early September found that just 34 percent of the Jewish community approved of McCain’s pick for running mate, with 57 percent disapproving.


  Jewish feelings appear to match those in the overall electorate toward Palin. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last week found 55 percent of voters believe Palin is not qualified to serve as president. Her lack of qualifications was seen in the poll as the biggest concern about a McCain presidency.


  Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, rejected the idea that Palin – who has voiced staunch support for Israel and a hard line on Iran – was a factor in the recent swing toward Obama among Jewish voters. “I don’t believe this has anything to do with Sarah Palin whatsoever,” he said. “Nobody I know is voting for vice president.”


  Brooks attributed McCain’s decline in the Jewish community to the “volatility” in the electorate during the recent economic crisis. He argued that as Obama gained ground in the country as a whole in recent weeks, he naturally also gained ground among Jews. Saying he expected the race to tighten nationally, Brooks predicted that McCain’s numbers in the Jewish community would bounce back as well.


  The Palin pick may have nullified McCain’s greatest strength in the Jewish community, Democratic observers said.


  Some suggested that earlier in the campaign, McCain was more appealing to Jews than other Republican presidential candidates because of his strained relations with the religious right over the years and his moderate record on a variety of issues, from embryonic stem-cell research to immigration.


  Palin, conversely, is more line with the thinking of religious conservatives and has been embraced by that group.       

(JTA)

Jews Still Unsure About Obama: McCain Support Near 80% Among Orthodox

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

WASHINGTON – Barack Obama has hit a wall of Jewish indecision. An American Jewish Committee survey published last week shows the Democratic presidential nominee still hovering around 60 percent among Jewish voters. His big problem: the undecideds.


  The U.S. senator from Illinois scored 57 percent, compared to 30 percent of respondents who said they would vote for his Republican rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain. That’s consistent with two other major polls taken since May.


  If Obama’s figure holds, he would finish about 15 points behind the 75 percent of the Jewish vote that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) won in 2004, according to exit polls.


  ”He seems to have reached a plateau,” said David Singer, the AJC’s research director. He noted that Jews among the party faithful are strongly supportive of their respective candidates, with 81 percent of Jewish Democrats backing Obama and 84 percent of Jewish Republicans backing McCain.


  ”In the past, Jewish independents usually in their voting behavior tended to go Democratic” by this point in the campaign, Singer said. “It’s this group that seems to be hesitating.” The AJC survey found an even split among Jewish independents for McCain and Obama – with 20 percent still undecided.


  Part of the explanation is McCain’s popularity among Jews relative to President Bush, who garnered only 24 percent of the Jewish vote in 2004 even after four years of what was widely seen as consistently strong support for Israel. McCain’s appeal combines similar support for Israel with a reputation as a moderate – one that Jewish Democrats say is no longer deserved after McCain picked a staunch religious conservative, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, as his running mate.


  A similar poll conducted by the AJC four years ago, in September 2004, showed Kerry at 69 percent and Bush at 24 percent. Kerry ultimately persuaded the undecideds to vote for him six weeks later.


  Whether Obama can do the same in the time remaining before the election with twice as many undecideds up for grabs this time around is a worrying question for Democrats. They say that a Republican campaign depicting Obama as overly sympathetic to Palestinians and as insufficiently confrontational with Iran, as well as an Internet-based campaign falsely depicting Obama as a secret Muslim, has hurt support for the Democrat among Jews.


  Matt Brooks, who directs the Republican Jewish Coalition, said his ads in Jewish newspapers in swing states where Jews may make a difference – particularly Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio – have raised substantive questions about Obama. Brooks cited Obama’s emphasis on the need for more diplomacy in dealing with Iran and his bungled efforts to explain his views on Jerusalem – and Brooks predicted bigger gains come Election Day.


  ”This poll is just another data point in an ongoing series of polls that underscore the tremendous problems Barack Obama has among Jewish voters,” Brooks said.


  Throwing Obama’s difficulties into even sharper relief is that the poll shows Jews are consistently liberal. Jewish Democrats comprised 56 percent of the respondents in the AJC poll. A majority of all respondents – 47 percent to 42 percent, all Jews – opposed “the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons,” a striking number in a community where the organizational leadership almost unanimously supports the idea of keeping the military option against Iran on the table.


  Ira Forman, who directs the National Jewish Democratic Council, said he saw the “undecided” numbers as an obstacle, but not an insurmountable one. He noted that part of the poll, taken Sept. 8-21, was during McCain’s post-convention “bounce.”


  ”The way national numbers move, Jewish numbers move,” he said, referring to McCain’s decline in recent polls.


  The AJC poll surveyed 914 Jews over the phone and had a margin of error of 3 percentage points.


  Among its other findings:


  Obama earned the support of just 13 percent of Orthodox Jews, compared to 59 of Conservative Jews, 62 percent of Reform Jews and 61 percent of those who identified as “just Jewish.” McCain garnered 78 percent of Orthodox Jews, against 26 percent of Conservative Jews, 27 percent of Reform Jews, and 26 percent of those identifying as “just Jewish.”


  Obama is doing better among Jewish women (60 percent) than Jewish men (54 percent). For McCain, it’s the opposite: Thirty-five percent of Jewish men said that they support the GOP nominee, compared to 25 percent of Jewish women.


  A majority, 56 percent, disagreed with the statement that “there will come a time when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace.” Thirty-eight percent agreed.


  Mark Mellman, a Democratic pollster, predicted that Obama would make gains among Jewish voters by Election Day.


  He said it was unfair to compare Obama with recent Democratic candidates. Bill Clinton’s respective opponents in 1992 and 1996 – President George H.W. Bush and Bob Dole – did not have good relations with the Jewish community, Mellman said. Al Gore in 2000 tapped Joe Lieberman, making him the first Jew on a national ticket, and the current President Bush was perceived as polarizing among Jews when Kerry ran against him in 2004, he said.


  Referring to Obama’s consistent 60 percent range, Mellman said: “It’s still well in the range that other Democrats before Clinton have gotten.”

(JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jews-still-unsure-about-obama-mccain-support-near-80-among-orthodox/2008/10/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: