A recent survey by the Public Religion Research of Jewish Voters, sent campaign Obama all over the place, spinning the poll results that show the President getting 62% of the Jewish Vote, ONLY 16% less than the 78% of support he got in 2008.
While the RJC pointed out the 16 point decline in support of the President, Campaign Obama spun it their way. Bluntly claiming that the numbers are the same as of June 2008, which improved by the time of election day.
The Pundits also came across the poll data, that shows Israel playing a minor factor in deciding for whom to vote for. And that the economy and values are more important to the Jewish electorate.
Before dismissing the poll as a manipulated poll, or as inaccurate. Here is why team Obama have reasons to worry and shvitz under their iron cleaned shirts: First, Obama is not anymore candidate Obama, but President Obama with a three and a half years in office record. So, a 16% decline in support is not only a sign of disappointment among traditional Democratic voters, but an increasing trend that could end with roughly 55% among Jewish voters, once they come across the aisle to examine the President's record being put out on the table.
This and more, even if Israel is not a deciding issue in the election, which can easily be dismissed. If indeed the economic situation and the role of government is the dominating issue among the Jewish electorate too, than there is no reason to believe that the decline in support of the president is not so significant, and that President Obama will succeed in bringing them home closer to the election. Nobody other than Team Obama in the Chicago bunker thinks that the President has a successful record when it comes to the economy, reducing the size of government, reducing the unemployment rate and releasing the heavy burden of high gas prices off our shoulders.
So, regardless of what the dominating issue might be, if its the economy or foreign affairs, Jewish voters as all Americans are fed up of being fooled again. And be rest assured, that once election day draws closer, there will be a significant decline in the president's support, just enough to determine the outcome of the election in the swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
MITCHELL BARD takes the poll data a step further and finds a noticeable unrepresentative sample. But nonetheless matches the results with a crystal clear conclusion - Obama’s current support is the lowest percentage for any Democrat since Jimmy Carter.
"Anyone who believes the hype over the recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute suggesting that Jews don’t consider Israel an important factor in their vote hasn’t spoken to any Jews in the last three years. And anyone who buys the spin from the survey that American Jews are showing strong support for Obama is simply ignorant of electoral history.
Putting aside what looks to be a liberal bias in the response group (44 percent identified as liberal or very liberal) and questions (which focused on religious and social issues rather than security and peace issues), the fact that Jews, like most Americans, would say the economy is the most important issue in this election is unremarkable. The more interesting question would be how many of these Jews are assimilated, disinterested in politics, have little knowledge or interest in Israel, because answers to these questions would probably also put the results in a proper perspective.
Two hints that this sample is unrepresentative and includes those less likely to consider Israel important are the finding that 60% of those polled don’t belong to synagogues and 64% never visited Israel.
If you ask people who attend synagogues, who have traveled to Israel, are members of AIPAC and other Jewish organization or are seniors, I suspect you would be hard pressed to find someone who does not think Israel is a very important issue. More important than the economy? Maybe not, but the relevant question is whether it is important enough that they will vote against someone they believe will harm Israel’s interests.
The lack of concern the pollsters found for Israel is reflected in the apparent disinterest of the pollsters, who asked only seven out of 43 questions about Israel and only one that directly related to security. Still, on these questions, the results were far more hawkish than one would expect from the liberal views found on social issues. For example, 83% said Iran is a major problem, second only to the concern expressed for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (which asked no follow-ups as to the reasons for its perpetuation, such as terrorism, incitement and the Palestinian refusal to enter negotiations). Furthermore, 59% said the US should take military action against Iran if sanctions fail. Only 53% supported a Palestinian state, 42% opposed.
Speaking around the country and reading what Jews are writing about in the mainstream and social media, it is quite evident the election is very much on their minds and the questions people ask are not about Obamacare or the deficit, it’s about aid to Israel, Iran and whether Obama can be trusted to protect Israel.
Does anyone believe that Obama and his rivals would go to the AIPAC conference and spend a disproportionate amount of time talking about Israel if they did not believe it was an issue that shaped Jews’ votes? They read polls every day and if they believed Jews didn’t care about Israel, you can be sure that Obama would have spent his time defending his record on the economy at AIPAC rather than his policy toward Israel.
62% is potentially disastrous for Obama in a close election. Remember, he got 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008; 16 points is a precipitous decline.
Even the most delusional Republican does not expect any of their candidates to win a majority of the Jewish vote. But in a close election it could make a difference if the Republican gets more than 30% as Reagan and Bush Sr. did in their victories.
The survey spinners also failed to consider historical perspective. Obama’s current support is the lowest percentage for any Democrat since Jimmy Carter. The average Jewish vote for a Democrat is 71%, so his support is significantly below average. In fact, the last two Democrats to receive less than 70% of the Jewish vote – Dukakis and Mondale – both lost."