Gallup fills in blank in AJC poll: Jews still like Obama

In response to this week’s American Jewish Committee Survey of Jewish Public Opinion,  I expressed regret that while it showed growing skepticism over elements of his Mideast policy, the poll left open the question of overall Jewish support for a president who won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in last year’s election.

Today we got an answer.

According to a Gallup survey, Jewish support for Obama today is higher than for any other religious group – unless you consider “atheists” a religious group. And it was just a sliver less than the atheist level.

Not surprisingly,  that’s the conclusion trumpeted by the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC).  Gallup itself felt the Jewish numbers were the real news in the poll; they headlined their story on the subject “U.S. Jews Lead Other Religious Groups in Support of Obama.”

64 percent of Jews in the survey gave Obama a positive approval rating, compared to  52 percent of all Americans.

No doubt Jewish Republicans will find some solace in the fact that’s down from November’s Jewish landslide –  but nobody expected the number to stay that high once Obama began the messy job of governing.

Gallup notes that Obama’s approval rating among Jews was 83 percent in January, but added “importantly, the decline in approval of Obama among Jews since January is no greater than that seen among the general public. This suggests that since Obama became president, his actions on Middle East policy issues — particularly relating to Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian dispute — have not had a disproportionately negative (or positive) impact on his image among U.S. Jews.”

And this: “ American Jews’ solid backing of Obama stands in contrast to Jewish opinion in Israel, where many are still taking stock of the new American president and trying to determine his long-term policy intentions for the Mideast. A recent poll of Jews in Israel, sponsored by the Jerusalem Post, found only 4% believing Obama’s policies are “pro-Israel” and 35% calling them evenly balanced, while 51% said they are “pro-Palestinian.”

Memo to the president: If you get bored in Washington, don’t try running for the Knesset.

Jewish Democrats were pleased.

“Gallup’s rigorous scientific findings demonstrate clearly once and for all what we’ve  known to be true for some time: Obama was elected with overwhelming support from American Jews, and he continues to enjoy overwhelming and strong support from American Jews,” said David Harris, president of the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC).

Read the Gallup results here.

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.