Clinton routing Trump among Florida Jewish voters

In a community that comprises of 5% of Florida's total voting population, three out of four voters have "serious concerns" that Trump is fostering anti-Semitism and other forces threatening to Jews.

August 26, 2016 20:04
2 minute read.
Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton is trouncing Donald Trump among Florida Jewish voters by a 41-point margin in a two-way race, according to a new poll released on Friday.

The Democratic presidential nominee is polling at 67% among the critical voting demographic, compared to her Republican rival, who has secured just 26% of the vote among likely Jewish voters. Trump’s support drops to 23% in a poll that accounts for third party candidates.

In a community that comprises of 5% of Florida’s total voting population, three out of four voters have “serious concerns” that Trump is fostering anti-Semitism and other forces threatening to Jews.

Further crystallizing those figures, 71% of Jewish voters in the state hold an overall unfavorable view of Trump, while only 21% view him favorably.

That compares to 33% who hold an unfavorable view of Clinton.

These voters, according to polling firm GBA Strategies, are prioritizing the economy, the environment, immigration policy and the Supreme Court by large numbers over the issues of Israel or Iran.

Jim Gerstein, founder of GBA Strategies, said in a phone call introducing the poll that Florida’s Jewish voters believe candidates need to pass a certain “threshold” of support for Israel – but then prioritize other issues in voting. The GBA poll found that only 8% consider Israel one of their top two priority issues, while just 2% put Iran in that category.

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is a strong surrogate for Clinton in this demographic. The poll finds that 85% of those polled recognized him, and 50 percent view him favorably.

That stands in contrast to the impact of Ivanka Trump on the campaign – the GOP nominee’s daughter is a convert to Judaism. More Jewish voters in the state view her unfavorably than positively, by a spread of 38 to 29%.

The poll was conducted between August 4-8 on cellphones and land lines of 500 voters by GBA, a public opinion research firm that retains several Democratic members of Congress and statewide officials as clients.

The poll also found significant divergence among Jewish denominations: Orthodox Jewish voters prioritize Israel in voting far more than those who identify as Reform, Conservative or unaffiliated.

The only Jewish denomination that is voting for Trump over Clinton is the Orthodox community – 6% of Florida’s Jewish population – where the numbers are reversed. Trump captures 66% of the Orthodox vote to 22% for Clinton. But most Jewish- American voters in this swing state are older, highly educated, and are made up of slightly more females than males.

Research from the same firm during the 2014 midterm elections found that American Jews were not prioritizing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in their voting that year, and that over 80% of the demographic supports a two-state solution.

An exit poll from the Republican Jewish Coalition in 2012 showed that the GOP nominee that year, Mitt Romney, secured 31% of the vote, which was a nine-point increase on the party’s 2008 nominee, John McCain. Romney still lost the state.

The 2016 poll has a margin of error of +4.4 percentage points.

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