President Donald Trump performed historically well among Jewish voters in Tuesday night's contested presidential election, receiving the highest portion of the Jewish vote for any Republican candidate since 1988, according to early exit polling.
Trump won 30.5 percent of the Jewish vote, up from the 24 percent he received in 2016, according to the Republican Jewish Coalition, which conducted an analysis of national exit polls along with analyst groups Basswood Research and McLaughlin & Associates. The poll included 600 registered voters nationwide who identified as Jewish.
The president won 43 percent of the Jewish vote in Florida, a historic high, according to polls conducted by the New York Times and Associated Press. This helped Trump clinch the state and remain competitive in the race as several states continue to count ballots. The poll also indicates that Jewish voters are increasingly willing to vote Republican despite the plurality of Jews historically voting Democratic. The RJC sees these inroads as critical to GOP candidates in contested states such as Florida.
"There is no doubt that in this election, when Donald Trump won in the key battleground state of Florida by fewer than 3 points, the Jewish vote was critical to his victory," RJC executive director Matthew Brooks said in a statement on the organization's exit polling.
As with much of the country, Jewish voters polled by the RJC said the economy and domestic issues are their chief concerns. Nearly 95 percent of respondents said they made up their minds about who to vote for well in advance of Election Day.
The coronavirus pandemic and "character of the candidate" also were top considerations for Jewish voters, much like the rest of the general American public. Just 8 percent of those polled cited Israel as their top voting issue, showing foreign policy did not largely factor into their decision making. Respondents ranged in age from 18 to over 65.
Published under: Donald Trump