by Gil Ronen
United States President Barack Obama has lost nearly half of his support among American Jews, a poll by the McLaughlin Group has shown.
The US Jews polled were asked whether they would: (a) vote to re-elect Obama, or (b) consider voting for someone else. 42% said they would vote for Obama and 46%, a plurality, preferred the second answer. 12% said they did not know or refused to answer.
In the Presidential elections of 2008, 78% of Jewish voters, or close to 8 out of 10, chose Obama. The McLaughlin poll held nearly 18 months later, in April 2010, appears to show that support down to around 4 out of 10.
The poll showed that key voter segments including Orthodox/Hassidic voters, Conservative voters, voters who have friends and family in Israel and those who have been to Israel, are all more likely to consider voting for someone other than Obama.
Among Orthodox/Hassidic voters, 69% marked ‘someone else’ vs. 17% who marked ‘re-elect.’ Among Conservative-affiliated voters the proportion was 50% to 38%. Among Reform Jews, a slim majority of 52% still supported Obama while 36% indicated they would consider someone else. Among Jews with family in Israel and those who had been to Israel, about 50% said they would consider someone else, while 41%-42% supported Obama.
Fifty percent of the Jewish voters polled said they approved of the job Obama is doing handling US relations with Israel. Thirty-nine percent said they disapproved. “This rating is not good for a group of voters who are 59% Democratic to only 16% Republican,” the poll’s analysis noted.
A majority of 52% said they disapproved of the idea of the Obama Administration supporting a plan to recognize a Palestinian state within two years. 62% said that if given a state, “the Palestinians would continue their campaign of terror to destroy Israel.” Only 19% thought they would live peacefully with Israel.
As Obama loses support among members of the influential Jewish voter bloc, possible Republican candidate Sarah Palin seems to be doing her best to woo them to her camp. At Time Magazine’s May 4 dinner honoring the ‘100 Most Influential People in the World,’ she was sporting a US/Israel flag pin.
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