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National survey shows Obama losing support among Jews

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A national survey conducted by the nonpartisan advocacy group, American Jewish Committee found that Obama’s approval among Jews has declined significantly over the past year.

The poll, taken by the research firm Synovate, was completed on Sept. 21, and done via telephone interviews with 800 respondents.

Opinions were solicited on a range of issues, including the Iran nuclear threat, economy, national security, Arab-Israeli peace, U.S.-Israeli relations and party affiliation.

The poll gauged Jewish approval of Obama’s job as president at 45 percent, with 48 percent disapproving and 7 percent undecided. In the last AJC survey on American Jewish opinion, conducted a year ago, 57 percent of Jews approved of the president’s performance, and 38 percent disapproved.

If the 2012 election were held today, President Obama would still win the support of an overwhelming majority of Jewish voters, but the margin is smaller and could narrow increasingly, depending on the GOP candidate running against him. In the 2008 election, Obama received 78 percent of the vote.

The survey identified the major differences in thinking among Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Jews, and pinpointed the issues on which Obama lost the most support of the Jewish community as a whole. The economy was top on the list of concerns, with other areas of strong disapproval being immigration and the handling of the Arab-Israeli Conflict .

“AJC annual surveys seek to provide timely information on the attitudes of Jews across our nation regarding the pressing issues confronting our community and the country,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said on the organization’s website. “Just as in previous years, this year’s survey offers a treasure-trove of data – and, as always, a few surprises.”

The full 2011 survey and previous AJC annual polls are available at www.ajc.org/surveys.

Michele Kirk


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