Israel policy fails to enamor US Jews of Trump, poll finds

“Only 6% say Trump’s Israel policy will cause them to consider voting for him despite disagreements on other important issues,” the Mellman Group adds.

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October 17, 2018 16:41
2 minute read.
Israel policy fails to enamor US Jews of Trump, poll finds

US President Donald Trump speaks during a bilateral meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, September 26, 2018. (photo credit: CARLOS BARRIA / REUTERS)

WASHINGTON – A slim majority of American Jews support Donald Trump’s policies on Israel – but his stance on the Jewish state has not been enough to win over their support for his presidency, according to a poll released on Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the Mellman Group and the Jewish Electorate Institute earlier this month, found that Jewish American support for Trump remains at a dismal 23% – and that 74% plan on voting for his Democratic opponent in 2020 regardless of the candidate.

Underscoring their opposition, 71% say they would not even consider voting to reelect Trump.

American Jews also plan on supporting Democrats with similar fervor in the midterm elections next month, according to the poll, which was commissioned to gauge the Jewish American electorate ahead of the upcoming races.

“While Jewish voters are split almost evenly on how they respond to the way President Trump is handling US-Israel relations, few are willing to support him on that alone,” the Jewish Democratic Council of America said in a statement. The Jewish Electorate Institute, which commissioned the poll, is affiliated with JDCA.

“Only 6% say Trump’s Israel policy will cause them to consider voting for him despite disagreements on other important issues,” the organization adds.

JDCA is surgically funding Democratic candidates in races considered too close to call, where large Jewish populations reside and where their high turnout could tip the balance of votes in their candidates’ favor.

A majority of those polled gave Trump only one positive mark: 51% approve of his handling of US-Israel relations. But American Jews support him on virtually no other issue. On his handling of rising antisemitism and Iran’s nuclear’s program, 70% of respondents disapproved of his job performance.

His worst issue polled was healthcare – a top issue for Jewish voters, who disapproved of his policies by an overwhelming 78%.

Mellman’s findings on Trump’s overall approval rating mirror the results of similar questioning in a poll conducted by the American Jewish Committee over the summer, which found that 26% of American Jews viewed Trump favorably. But they differ on the AJC’s findings on Trump’s Israel policy. Their June poll found that only 34% of American Jews supported his actions on Israel, suggesting a marked increase in recent months, or else a flawed polling method.

The poll was conducted October 2-11 and its results factor in a reported margin of error of 3.5%.


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