A new poll published by the American Jewish Committee has shown that the vast majority of American Jews intend to vote for Obama in the upcoming presidential election.
According to the poll, 61% of 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 revealed more or less the same numbers – 62% for Obama and 30% for Romney.
Recent discord over the extent of Obama’s subservience to Israel has influence American Jewish opinion on his handling of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel: 58 percent of American Jews approve, as opposed to 40 percent who disapprove.
On the other hand, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoys much a higher approval rating than Obama, with 70% approving of his handling of U.S.-Israel relations, and 28% disapproving.
According the AJC poll, 67% of Jewish women and 55% of Jewish men plan to vote for Obama. Romney is preferred by 34% of American Jewish men and 22% of Jewish women.
Obama is doing better among those who do not attend synagogues: 67% of those who never attend religious services, which comprised 31% of the respondents – would vote for Obama, while 21% would vote for Romney. Among the 14% who attend synagogue one or more times per week, 52% said they would vote for Obama, as opposed to 34% for Romney.
Among Jews who are more focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42% would vote for Obama, while 44% of those who cite national security and 45% of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations as their respective top priorities would prefer to vote for Mitt Romney.
71% of American Jews believe that caring about Israel is a very important part of being a Jew. However, 59% of the U.S. Jews have never visited Israel, 19% have only visited once and 21% said they had visited two or more times. Nearly nine out of ten of those Jews who never attend religious services have never been to Israel, while only 26 percent of those who attend services at least once a week have not traveled to Israel.
Steven Simon, Director for Middle East and North Africa at the White House National Security Council (and one of a long line of Jews who have held that post, including Elliot Abrahams and Dan Shapiro) recently appeared at the Jewish Supremacist Anti-Defamation League National conference in Washington and said that no other U.S. president has done more for Israel’s security than Obama.
“It’s not only about weapons and technology, it’s about the relationship,” Simon said, after listing the budget request for $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel, “the largest ever”, and support for the Iron Dome anti-missile system.
“We’ve launched a most meaningful and close strategic dialog through all levels of government. Last year nearly 200 Israeli and U.S. officials exchanged visits. It’s a priority for this administration to stand up to efforts to delegitimize Israel. We will always reject attempts to equate Zionism with racism. Israel’s security is at the top of President Obama’s security team, when he said he has Israel’s back, he meant it.” a