US Jews vastly prefer Obama to Romney

Those surveyed also approved more than disapproved of way Obama has handled what they saw as major issues.

May 1, 2012 06:37
2 minute read.
US President Obama in the Oval Office [file]

US PResident Barack Obama in the Oval Office 370 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Jason Reed)

BOSTON – US Jewish voters prefer US President Barack Obama to former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 61 percent to 28%, according to a new American Jewish Committee survey released Monday.

Those surveyed also approved more than disapproved of the way Obama has handled what they saw as the major issues in deciding how they would vote, when asked to list their top three: the economy (80%), health care (57%), national security (26%), taxes (26%), the US-Israel relationship (22%) and social security (22%).

On the US-Israel relationship, 58% approve of how Obama is handling it, versus 40% who disapprove. On national security, 69% approve of the job he is doing and only 29% disapprove. And on Iran’s nuclear program, which was listed as a separate issue with 15% choosing it as one of their top three concerns, 61% approve of what Obama has done and 37% disapprove.

Among Jewish voters who list the economy as their top issue, 62% say they will vote for Obama and just 28% back Romney. But among Jewish voters who list national security or the US-Israel relationship as their top issue, Romney would edge out Obama 44%- 42% and 45%-42% respectively.

The Democratic Party is also seen as more likely than the Republican Party to make the right decisions on every issue listed. On most issues, including national security and Iran, American Jews viewed Democrats as likely to make the right decisions by at least 60%. But on US-Israel relations, that number sank to 57%, while Republicans rose to 40% (on all other given issues they were in the 30s or lower). Conversely, the church-state relationship was the one area Democrats cracked 70%, with 74% saying Democrats were more likely to make the right decisions and just 22% saying the same of the GOP.

The survey found that American Jewry is very worried about Iran’s nuclear program, with 89% concerned about the prospect of Iran obtaining a nuclear weapon and just 11% not that concerned.

Fifty-six percent think it is unlikely sanctions and diplomacy will prevent Tehran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, while 42% think it is likely. In the event that they do both fail, 64% would support the US taking military action against the nuclear program and 75% would support Israel taking military action.

A majority of 59% of those surveyed had never been to Israel, but 71% still agreed that “caring about Israel is a very important part of my being a Jew.”

The poll was conducted of 1,074 Jewish adults from March 14-27. It has a margin of error of +/- 4.8%.

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