Wow: Support for Obama among Jewish voters basically unchanged from last year

posted at 6:20 pm on April 9, 2010 by Allahpundit

I think these numbers are mostly an artifact of bad timing, for reasons I’ll explain, but … wow.

A new, annual survey of American Jewish public opinion by the American Jewish Committee finds that Jews, by and large, continue to approve of Obama — 57 percent say they approve of the job he’s doing — and also back his handling of Israel.

The 55 percent who approve of Obama’s Israel policy is a slight improvement on the finding in the same survey last year, while the disapproval number has ticked up slightly more.

His net support on Israel has declined slightly — 55/37 this year versus 54/32 last year — but given the recent “unpleasantness,” I would have expected a more dramatic change than +22 to +18. Also — dude:

isr

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking of how The One humiliated Netanyahu during their meeting in D.C. and wondering whether he’d have to actually, physically kick him in the stones for this sample to rate relations as “somewhat negative.” That’s where the bad timing of the poll comes in: It was conducted from March 2 to March 23, a few days before news broke of what happened between them at the White House and several weeks before Bibi pulled out of Obama’s nuke summit. The extent of the deterioration in relations simply wasn’t clear yet when these questions were asked. Then again, it wasn’t fully hidden either: The blow up over new construction in east Jerusalem came all the way back on March 9 and top U.S. officials had plenty to say about in the days after. You might think that maybe the sample blamed Netanyahu for all of that and that his approval rating among them suffered accordingly, but you’d be wrong. His handling of U.S. relations is at 57/30, just a few points worse than last year’s 59/23 split. So the respondents think both Obama and Bibi are doing a swell job with their relationship and that the relationship itself is pretty darned positive. Do they … read the news?

Per Jennifer Rubin, who finds the poll even more depressing than I do, it sounds like the answer may be “no”:

What about a Palestinian state? Only 48 percent approve of the idea. What about compromising on Jerusalem? Oh, 61 percent disapprove of that idea. 75 percent of Jews agree with this statement: “The goal of the Arabs is not the return of occupied territories but rather the destruction of Israel.” Do they know what Obama’s Israel policy is? It’s hard to fathom how their support for his policy meshes with his policy positions, which are antithetical to that policy. One is forced to conclude that this is a near Pavlovian response: “Obama=approval.”

68 percent also say that sanctions are unlikely to stop Iran’s nuclear program, but at 47 percent, The One nonetheless has near-majority support for his handling of that too. (I wonder if this will change things.) How to explain all this? Simple: The sample’s 50 percent Democratic and just 15 percent Republican, which is probably roughly representative. Democrats tend to follow the Democratic line and Israel is no exception, even for Jewish voters. Gloomy exit quotation from Rubin: “If Israel supporters hope to apply pressure on the administration to reverse its approach to Israel and Iran, I have a suggestion: get some gentile support.”


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It doesn’t matter what color, creed, or race you are people. Democrats are democrats first. Always. Learn it, live it, love it.

rollthedice on April 10, 2010 at 9:07 AM

It has always amazed me how Democrats keep the Jewish vote. I know the Hollywood Jews are of a different breed, but the average person in America, I just don’t understand it.

ButterflyDragon on April 9, 2010 at 11:58 PM

I used to really wonder about that, too, until I’ve read more from others lately (many of them, Jewish and Conservative) who explain that many Jews in the U.S. are political first, of a sort of ‘religious fervor’ type, while they are not Orthodox (they don’t engage as Jews in the religious sense except on cultural issues, two, three times a year, but mostly are Jews by ethnicity-defining terms, and political Liberalism is a sort of “religion” for them).

Meaning, they are, like Liberals of other ethnicities, ethnic when it suits their politics, but the political comes first.

Most if not all the Orthodox Jews I know and read from and about, however, are nearly all Conservative.

Which is also how it goes with the rest of us of other ethnicities and races: when religious in the “orthodox” sense, we are most often Conservative to Moderate. When not so, then, Leftwingers.

Lourdes on April 10, 2010 at 9:09 AM

75% of American Jews are liberals. This isn’t news.

My friends who are Jewish, whether religious or secular, all are strong Obama-backers.

tigerinexile on April 10, 2010 at 9:16 AM

Wow, I can’t believe that these people are paying attention to what Obama is doing to Israel. They’re meshuggah, so they like to suffer.

Wills on April 10, 2010 at 9:25 AM

They can’t be informed, or many are elderly and cling to old points if view?? Otherwise there’s no explanation for this. This President is the first in many decades to be somewhat anti-Jew and they don’t seem to notice. Just an aside here and a purely empiric observation but, from time to time, my husband and I go on Elderhostels(now Exploritas)whose membership includes many ,many Jewish elderly. I have noticed that most seem only to watch the MSM stations and read the liberal papers. But, then, most of trips we take are in the New England and NY areas so that could be one explanation too.

jeanie on April 10, 2010 at 9:26 AM

The Jewish supporters for these card board cut outs are card board cut outs themselves.

Cybergeezer on April 10, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Lourdes on April 10, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Jackie Mason is just TOO good!

Cybergeezer on April 10, 2010 at 9:38 AM

Warning, anecdote but pertinent to subject: One of the trips we took found us staying at a conference center. It was in the months prior to the 2008 elections. This place has no TV’s in the rooms, just one in the common room. I used to go down before meals to catch FOX, but when the bulk of this group(which was largely Jewish, no offense meant, simply a fact) showed up, we had to switch immediately to one on the MSM stations. It was a fun trip and these were nice and interesting people but very narrow in their political coverage.

jeanie on April 10, 2010 at 9:46 AM

Quetzal on April 10, 2010 at 2:31 AM

Plus…

* Andrew Breitbart

* Matt Drudge

petefrt on April 10, 2010 at 9:54 AM

What will it take for some to recognize that Obama just ain’t a fan of the Jews? Obviously his anti-semitic alliances (Wright, et al) have no relevance to some.

Obama is being given a disturbing margin of error by Jewish Americans. A lot of regret and tragedy built into this relationship.

EMD on April 10, 2010 at 9:55 AM

Jews have a strong innate “radar” for bigotry, persecution, and discrimination, since most Jews who came to America did so to escape such persecution. This explains why Jews were so active in the civil rights movement and explains ehy they voted for Barack Obama in droves. To them, black people are “The Jews” of America. They are susceptilbe to all the dog-whistles from the left-wing media about Republicans being bigots and racists.

That sense will trump almost anything if they feel threatened. Jews really do feel threatened by the rise of the religious Right in America. When George W. Bush said in that 2000 debate that his favorite philosopher was Jesus Christ, it thrilled millions of Christians but terrified a lot of Jews (I have Jewish friends who still bring this up in conversation all the time, ten years later). They think that evangelical Christians love Israel only because they believe in a coming Apocalypse and return of Christ to his throne, and according to the prophecy Israel must be maintained. They hang on every word Pat Robertson says a bout this stuff and assume that all Christians and all conservative politicians believe it.

Many Jews have also adopted the belief that Israel is bad now because it is practicing the sort of bigotry and persecution of the Palestinians that their ancestors escaped in Europe. They believe modern Israel has betrayed its founders and become a nation that violates true Jewish values. Again, this is fostered by reading the New York Times and other liberal publications that Jews trust. They treat Netanyahu like we treated David Duke – they think he is a bigot and a warmonger and they do not want him as their standardbearer.

rockmom on April 10, 2010 at 10:10 AM

The jews crucified Christ, what make you think they won’t vote democrat? – daesleeper on April 9, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Um, Jesus Christ was a Jew, how would he vote?

Humanity crucified Christ. If he were to come back tomorrow we would probably do the same thing and put it on television. Blaming the Jews just misses the whole, entire point of the story. – Boxy_Brown on April 10, 2010 at 4:46 AM

Perfect answer, Boxy Brown. Indeed, blaming Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus instead of all humanity misses the essential point of the entire faith called Christianity itself & contradicts the very reason God is believed by Christians to have sent his Son here in the first place.
It’s Christianity 101, a fundamental tenet of the religion, and if you haven’t got that one right (as daesleeper evidently does not), you may as well call yourself an atheist, because you are denying the divinity of God’s hand in sacrificing his son to humanity in order to redeem humanity.
As an aside, did anybody watch the movie “The Passion of the Christ” in a theatre? One of the most brilliant snippets of filmmaking I’ve ever experienced was during the crucifixion scene. Gibson & company had members of the crowd on the soundtrack calling for Jesus to be killed programmed to channels coming out of speakers in the back of the theatre, so as to seem to the movie audience that some of the people calling for crucifixion were inside the theatre right behind each viewer . Just a gobsmackingly goosebump-inducing way to reinforce the main point: that that unruly crowd braying for the death of Jesus a couple of thousand years ago was us.

leilani on April 10, 2010 at 10:11 AM

48% support a Palestinian state!!!??? That group of people was created out of thin air be Arafat. Why do these 48% want to create permanent trouble for Israel? Makes no sense. Even if this state is created, the bombings won’t stop and the birds won’t start chirping.

Kissmygrits on April 10, 2010 at 10:14 AM

The more I read above, the more it seems as if American Jews have become very ambivalent and do not really know who they are any more.

jeanie on April 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM

Apparently not all American Jews support Obama – take a look at Jewish World Review (http://jewishworldreview.com/). You may recognize some of the authors there (including Michelle Malkin).

ajackson on April 10, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Jews were sent to wander in the desert because they lost their way.

Polls like this and their continued support for their enemies just makes it clear that they are still lost.

Christians lead the way back to where America was great. This isn’t meant to be “supremacist”, just reflecting on the fact that our great country is great in no small part due to our Christian heritage, and following the ways of any other group, Bhuddist, Muslim Jewish or Unitarian Universalist can only lead us downward.

Spartacus on April 10, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Rockmom, I think you are 180 degrees wrong.

I think that most Jew support their enemies to curry favor, and they resent the brave. This is why they hated Bush, they hate Netenyahu, and why there are jewish lawyers jumping out of hte woodwork to have a chance to support Islamic terrorists Pro Bono.

Spartacus on April 10, 2010 at 10:36 AM

YehuditTX on April 9, 2010 at 6:43 PM

You are absolutely צודקת (right)

I don’t see anyone accusing others of being less Christian for not helping to stop the ethnic cleansing of Christians in Rwanda and right now in Sudan. However the overwhelming support Obama gets from American Jews is sickening, the guy is 100% anti-Semitic.

Michelle Dubois on April 10, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Not clear yet?

It was clear to me in Feb of 2008.

But let me say this about that – Jews are as dumb as rocks when it comes to national finances and politics.

I keep asking my mom (90 yo) why she still sticks with the Ds after all the double crosses. And what does she say? “During the depression…..”

MSimon on April 10, 2010 at 10:38 AM

What an interesting topic this is becoming. I know little about the differences in attitude between the American Jew and the Israeli Jew and am finding the bits and pieces here quite enlightening. This all began for me with my inability to grasp why the the American Jew seems to be putting the Jewish experience ahead of the good of either Israel and the US but the Israeli Jew is putting country first and Jewish experience second.(Perhaps I’m mis- interpreting but this it what I’m getting) I do read that in Israel the many factions continually argue with each other within the country though.

jeanie on April 10, 2010 at 10:40 AM

The more I read above, the more it seems as if American Jews have become very ambivalent and do not really know who they are any more.

jeanie on April 10, 2010 at 10:20 AM

We could say the same thing about Christians as well, can’t we?

One of the inherent features of the conundrum about Jewish voters’ apparent majority support for anti-Jewish, anti-Israel political policies is the dual nature of Jewishness itself. Being “Jewish” implies either ethnicity or religious belief or both. Some folks are ethnically Jews, but don’t subscribe to the religious beliefs at all.

I happen to be a cradle catholic of French & Irish ethnic heritage. I have relatives who are “Roman Catholics” who regularly vote for politicians who advocate extreme anti-Catholic positions. Some of the biggest Obamabots on the planet are in my crazy family! Similarly, just because as a woman I identify most strongly with my matrilineally-acquired french ethnicity doesn’t mean I offer blind support for France the country politically. (Ack! Hell, no, in fact!)

So if Christians & folks of other European ethnicities regularly vote in crazy-quilt patterns which would seem to be incompatible with their own genetic & cultural backgrounds, maybe we’re making a mistake to assume that Jews should do any differently?

leilani on April 10, 2010 at 10:46 AM

Outside of the Jewish people themselves a conservative Orthodox Rabbi told me several years ago.The best friends the Jewish people and the state of Israel have are most not all but most are conservative fundamentalist Christians.He went on to say they are sometimes wary of certain Christian groups like The United Methodist and other so called more progressive Christian groups.

thmcbb on April 10, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Battered wife syndrome. Or maybe just ignorance.

It’s really funny….blacks despise Jews, and I suspect Jews aren’t particularly fond of blacks either, yet both swear an undying allegiance to the same political party, a party which has contempt for each of them, lol.

With so many dumb people, it’s no wonder this country is on its last legs. I’m surprised we made it this far.

xblade on April 10, 2010 at 10:54 AM

Jews will continue to love Democrats and Obama right into Oblivion. Sad

oped01 on April 10, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Jackie Mason is just TOO good!

Jackie Mason is one of us…Conservative Jews who “know” what’s going on. Jews were programmed over 50 years ago to be Democrats because the rich, white, non-Jews “supposedly” were all Republican Jew haters. It became so ingrained in their family legacies that even when confronted with a Muslim, Marxist, or Jew who changed his Jewish name and helped the Nazis (Soros) they will still vote Democratic. It’s hard to change beliefs even when the truth is right under your nose. The Israeli Jews had Obama’s number from the get go.

Nalea on April 10, 2010 at 5:47 PM

Nalea on April 10, 2010 at 5:47 PM

That’s interesting. What, if anything, could change that mind set?

jeanie on April 10, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Like Ezra Levant says:

Too Stupid To Really Be Jewish;
That’s Kathy Shaidle’s catch-phrase when a Jew takes it upon himself to single-handedly undo the Hebrew people’s most positive stereotype, namely that we’re smart.

Surely the Jewish Obama supporters fit into that category!

Johnny 100 Pesos on April 11, 2010 at 1:34 AM

Cybergeezer on April 10, 2010 at 10:42 AM, when you want someone to look at a thing, it helps to post the EXACT and not the general link. Thanks.

SilentWatcher on April 11, 2010 at 12:45 PM

MB4 on April 9, 2010 at 7:56 PM, Mona Charen.

SilentWatcher on April 11, 2010 at 12:52 PM

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