Poll Shows Shift in GOP Jewish Vote May Endure

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June 10, 2015

A new poll by left-leaning Middle East lobbying group J Street indicates that Jewish voters who ditched President Obama after 2008 are not yet moving back to the Democratic Party for Hillary Clinton.

President Obama received 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, compared to 21 percent for his Republican challenger Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.).

In 2012, Obama’s support among Jewish voters dropped to 69 percent, while Mitt Romney received 30 percent of the Jewish vote.

Those voters do not appear to have moved back to the Democratic Party to support Clinton, according to a recent J Street poll reported by Politico on Wednesday.

In a matchup between Clinton and Jeb Bush, Clinton draws 64 percent while Bush receives 26 percent—similar to the Democratic-Republican Jewish voter breakdown in 2012. In an "allocated vote" (in which J Street allotted the undecided respondents "to a candidate based on which candidate they rated higher" in favorability), Clinton received 68 percent to Bush’s 30 percent.

Clinton’s favorability ratings among Jewish adults are essentially identical to President Obama’s in the poll, with 48 percent viewing her favorably and 40 percent unfavorably (Obama’s numbers are 48 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable).

The political leader who received the lowest disapproval rating in the poll is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Just 27 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion on him. Forty-seven percent who viewed him favorably.

The J Street poll of 1,000 Jewish adults was conducted between May 31 and June 3. It has a 3.1 percent margin of error.