Obama’s Rosh Hashanah gift: A bump in Jewish support
New Gallup figures show slight increase in support for president among Jewish registered voters, from 68% a few weeks ago to 70%
Haviv Rettig Gur is The Times of Israel's senior analyst.
As Democrats and Republicans spar for Jewish votes that could be decisive in key battleground states like Florida and Ohio, the Democrats received some good news over the weekend.
Among self-identified Jewish registered voters, Democratic incumbent President Barack Obama enjoys 70 percent support, compared to 25% for Republican challenger Mitt Romney, with a 4% margin of error.
The figures reflect Gallup’s daily tracking polls from the beginning of July through September 10, and mark a 2-percentage point increase in support from June Gallup figures that showed 68% of Jewish registered voters favoring Obama.
The figures do not reflect events of the past week, which saw tensions between the Obama administration and the Israeli government over Israeli calls to place “red lines” on Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, the figures predate a bump for Obama in nationwide polls among the general American voting population that saw Obama’s lead over Romney increase from roughly 1% in July to 3.2%, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average of nationwide polls conducted through September 15.
According to the latest figures, gender seems to play a key factor in Jewish political affiliation, as it does among the general American electorate, with Obama’s lead shrinking significantly among Jewish men and growing among Jewish women.
Obama leads among Jewish male registered voters by 32 percentage points, or 63% compared to Mitt Romney’s 31%. Among Jewish women registered voters, Obama leads by almost twice as much, enjoying a gap of 57 percentage points, with 77% for Obama and just 20% for Romney.
According to Democrats, the apparent rise in support for Obama among Jewish registered voters in September follows the trend in the 2008 election, when Jews gradually increased their support for Obama as Election Day drew nearer.
Republicans have launched unprecedented efforts to attract the Jewish vote this year, including funding television, print and billboard ads criticizing Obama’s policies on Israel and the economy. Last week, the Republican Jewish Coalition conducted a large grassroots canvassing campaign in Jewish communities in the battleground areas of South Florida, Philadelphia and Cleveland.