Biden scores 70 percent approval rating among American Jews

American Jewish Committee poll finds wide overall support among Jewish community for Democratic US president while Orthodox voters generally disapprove of his administration

US President Joe Biden applauds during the commencement for the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, May 19, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/AP)
US President Joe Biden applauds during the commencement for the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, May 19, 2021. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Approval numbers among American Jewish voters for US President Joe Biden are 70%, an American Jewish Committee poll found, while 26% disapprove of his job performance.

The survey published Wednesday, the first in Biden’s presidency to measure his ratings among Jewish voters, is commensurate with past Jewish support for Democratic presidents. It also found once again that Orthodox voters depart from the broader community, with just 19 percent of that community approving of Biden’s performance.

The survey is released as Biden seeks to put to bed the coronavirus pandemic that consumed the final year of Donald Trump’s presidency, calm racial tensions roiled by a year of protests against police violence, revive the economy, and manage the crisis engendered by the war last month between Israel and Hamas.

The survey showed that 79% of respondents approved of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and 19% disapproved; 68% approved of his handling of race relations and 28% disapproved, and 71% approved of his handling of the economy and 27% disapproved. On antisemitism, which has spiked in recent months, 64% approve of how Biden handles the threat while 23% disapprove.

Biden did not fare as well on the immigration issue during a crisis as migrants rush the Mexico-US border: 54% of respondents approved and 42% disapproved of how he handled immigration.

Also featuring narrower gaps were his handling of the Middle East: 58% percent approve of his handling of US-Israel relations while 27% disapprove.

The survey of 1,000 respondents reached by phone took place March 25-May 9 — the day before the Israel-Hamas war broke out.

Biden also wants to reenter the Iran nuclear deal. The survey found that 55% percent of respondents approve of Biden’s handling of the Iranian nuclear issue while 32% do not.

The survey was carried out by the SSRS research firm and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points, although the margin would be larger for subsets, for instance, in measuring Orthodox approval.

Elements of the survey covering “US political issues, US-Israel relations, and the peace process,” will be released later this month, an AJC release said.

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