2011 AJC Poll on Jewish Opinion


The American Jewish Committee has issued its Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion.

 

The “headline” is a confirmation of trends of the past few months – with support for President Obama slipping such that his approve/disapprove numbers are roughly even.

 

But here are a few notes about and behind the numbers:

 

The polling was done in mid-September – and in fact concluded the day President Obama delivered his address to the United Nations General Assembly, which won him praise across the Jewish spectrum for standing with Israel — could this have made a difference in the result?

 

Ben Smith at Politico has noted the dissatisfaction might not be entirely about Israel (even for Jews, it might be “the economy stupid”) while the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin notes that, despite the dissatisfaction, more Jews choose Obama over potential Republican candidates anyway.

 

We’ve taken a look at the “crosstabs” and find some predictable, but also some interesting, and some important numbers about the denominational differences among the AJC’s respondents.

 

Predictable:

  • Orthodox respondents disapprove of “Obama’s handling of his job as President” at a much higher rate: 72%, compared to 48% for Conservative and 44% for Reform.
  • Many more Orthodox respondents disapprove of Obama’s handing of U.S. relations with Israel: 80%
  • Orthodox respondents would vote for GOP contenders Romney, Perry, Christie and even (by a small margin) Bachmann over Obama.

 

Interesting:

  • Orthodox respondents choose Romney and Christie over Obama at the same rate – 58%, but choose Perry over Obama at only 50% and Bachmann at 39%.

 

Important:

  • As the Obama Administration continues to work to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, there is broad consensus across the Jewish community on these points:
  • A majority are opposed to the establishment of a Palestinian State under current conditions;
  • There is a solid majority opposed to the re-division of Jerusalem even “in the framework of a permanent peace” accord;
  • Overwhelmingly, American Jews believe the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a “Jewish State.”