An Israeli soldier walks past members of the US Republican party's election campaign team in Israel, who are holding a banner in support of Republican US presidential nominee Donald Trump, during a campaign aimed at potential American voters living in Israel, near a mall in Modi'in, Israel..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Republican nominee Donald Trump won the US presidential vote among American citizens voting from Israel, according to an iVoteIsrael exit poll taken this week, but in an election plagued with low favorability ratings for both candidates, he had a far less impressive showing than past Republicans have in Israel.
As The Jerusalem Post exclusively reported on Wednesday, Trump received 49% of the Israeli-American vote, while Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton got 44%, according to the poll conducted by get-out-thevote organization iVoteIsrael and KEEVOON Global Research.
The majority of voters in Israel viewed the candidates unfavorably, with Trump receiving a 65% unfavorable rating and 32% favorable, and Clinton seen as 64% unfavorable and 34% favorable.
In fact, 49% of voters in Israel said the main reason they chose their candidate was because of the “danger of electing the other candidate.” More Trump voters (60%) chose this reason than Clinton voters (39%).
Despite Trump winning among Americans in Israel, more of them are registered Democrats (33%) than Republicans (27%). Of Trump’s votes in Israel, 25% came from Democrats, and 10% of Clinton’s votes came from Republicans.
iVoteIsrael’s poll found the states evenly split between the two major-party candidates, with New York, New Jersey, California, Maryland and swingstate Florida going to Trump, and Michigan, Massachusetts, Illinois and swing-state Pennsylvania choosing Clinton. The votes from Ohio, another swing state, were tied at 44%.
Trump’s margin of victory was larger among men only, 59% of whom voted for the Republican, while 52% of female voters chose Clinton.
Younger Israeli-Americans tended to vote for Clinton, who was the choice of 60% of voters aged 25 to 34. Trump peaked with voters aged 65 and older, with 60% of their votes coming from Israel.
Participants in the exit poll were asked whether they consider themselves secular, traditional, religious or ultra-Orthodox. Trump won overwhelmingly, with 85%, in the last category, and got 63% of votes from religious people, who made up half of the sample. Clinton received 75% of the secular and 54% of the traditional vote. Two percent of those polled were not Jewish.
The most important issue for American voters in Israel, by far, was foreign policy (43%), followed by influence on the Supreme Court (10%), jobs and the economy (7%), terrorism and national security (6%), healthcare (2%), and illegal immigration (1%). Another 31% chose “other.”
The iVoteIsrael data came from 1,140 of the respondents to a poll of absentee ballot voters, who were invited to participate via e-mail, and has a 3% margin of error. The sample was half male, half female, more than half of the respondents were over 55, 90% were dual Israeli-American citizens, and most had lived in Israel for more than 15 years.
Another 197 people who did not vote were polled. Half of them said the reason they did not vote was because they didn’t send in their ballots on time. Another 21% said it was because they did not like either candidate, and 4% said “both candidates were equally good/bad.”
iVoteIsrael and the US Vote Foundation each reported 15,000 Americans in Israel using their services. The total number of votes coming from Israel is significantly lower than voter turnout in Israel in 2012, when 80,000 Americans in Israel used iVoteIsrael’s voter aid services alone.