New poll: Trump’s Israel policies don’t sway most US Jews
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51% of American Jews approve of Trump's Israel policies

New poll: Trump’s Israel policies don’t sway most US Jews

Only 6% of American Jewish community would vote for president because of Israel despite differences on other issues

Eric Cortellessa covers American politics for The Times of Israel.

US President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on Hurricane Michael in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 10, 2018. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)
US President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing on Hurricane Michael in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, October 10, 2018. (SAUL LOEB / AFP)

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump’s policies toward Israel are not generating support for him among American Jews, a poll released Wednesday found.

While a slim majority of American Jews said they approved of Trump’s handling of relations with the Jewish state, the vast majority said that would not cause them to vote for him.

The survey, by The Mellman Group, found that 51 percent of American Jewish respondents said they approved of the president’s US-Israel approach, but just 6% said they would vote for him due to his Israel policies despite differing from him on other issues. Moreover, 20% said they agreed with Trump on Israel, but would still would not vote for him.

The Mellman Group is a Democratic polling service. The report surveyed 800 voters nationally who it said reflected the 2018 Jewish electorate. The interviews, which were conducted online, ran from October 2 to October 11. The survey’s margin of error is 3.5% and it has a 95% level of confidence. It was conducted on behalf of the Jewish Electorate Institute

The poll also found that American Jews — long loyal to the Democratic Party — remained that way, with 75% of respondents saying they planned to vote for Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterms. Sixty-eight percent said they identified with the Democratic Party, whereas 25% said they did with the Republican Party.

Those figures reflect a wide divergence from national trends. A recent Gallup poll found that 47% of Americans identify as Democrats and 44% identify as Republicans.

The Mellman poll also found widespread American Jewish distaste for Trump, with 75% expressing disapproval of him.

That reflected slightly less disapproval of the president than past polling. The American Jewish Committee’s 2017 survey of Jewish opinion, which was released in September of that year, found that 77% of American Jews had an unfavorable view of the president.

Trump has made several decisions in the past year that delighted Israelis but divided the American Jewish community, including recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the embassy there, as well as withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear deal.

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