Poll: Jewish voters favored Biden over Trump 77-21

Support higher than for Clinton in 2016, J Street poll indicates; 78% of Jewish respondents back Democrats in congressional races

People in Times Square dressed in Donald Trump and Joe Biden costumes as they await election results on November 3, 2020 in New York City. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP)
People in Times Square dressed in Donald Trump and Joe Biden costumes as they await election results on November 3, 2020 in New York City. (David Dee Delgado/Getty Images/AFP)

Jewish voters favored Joe Biden over US President Donald Trump 77%-21% in a national poll late Tuesday, with few listing Israel as their most pressing voting priority.

The poll by GBAO Strategies for J Street, a liberal Jewish Middle East advocacy group that endorsed Biden, was of 800 voters who voted early or who answered questions on election night.

The figures showed greater Jewish support for Biden than for Hillary Clinton in 2016, with the current candidate securing a 56-point advantage, compared to 45-point lead for the former secretary of state, who was ultimately defeated by Trump.

The poll showed better numbers for Biden than polling ahead of the election suggested, albeit within the margin of error. An American Jewish Committee poll last month showed Jews voting for Biden over Trump 75% to 22%.

It comes as Americans likely would not know the winner of the presidential race until Wednesday, with Biden and Trump locked in an unexpectedly tight race. Polls had predicted a relatively easy victory for Biden.

The survey said 78% of Jewish respondents supported Democrats in congressional races, compared to 21% for Republicans.

Democratic presidential candidate former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks to supporters, November 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

The number of American Jews who list Israel as their top voting priority dropped from 9% in 2016 to 5% in 2020, the poll suggested. The majority (54%) listed the coronavirus pandemic as their top priority, followed by climate change (26%), healthcare (25%) and the economy (23%).

“In this historically pivotal election, Jewish voters have just totally repudiated Donald Trump and a Republican Party that has catered to the most far-right, xenophobic elements of the country,” said J Street’s president, Jeremy Ben-Ami, in a statement. “While Trump touted an ‘exodus’ of Jews from the Democratic Party, the only exodus we saw here was Republicans losing a significant chunk of their already small number of Jewish supporters.

“A strategy built on the myth that Jewish votes can be won with hawkish Israel policy is bound to fail when over and over again American Jews have demonstrated that they are among the most progressive voters in the American electorate, with views on Israel that are pro-diplomacy and pro-peace,” Ben-Ami added.

The survey also quizzed respondents on their views on Israel and the Palestinian conflict.

Ninety-two percent said someone can be critical of Israeli government policies and still be pro-Israel, but 89% opposed boycotts of the Jewish state. It found that 72% support a two-state solution; 15% back annexation, while allowing the Palestinians to vote in municipal but not national elections; and 13% support the establishment of a binational state for Jews and Palestinians.

And 67% supported “the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if it meant the United States exerting pressure on Israel to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace.”

According to the poll, nearly three-quarters (74%) said they strongly or somewhat support the United States reentering the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump withdrew from in 2018.

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