Politics: Polling shows Obama's Jewish support may be waning

Published by: Robert Laurie on Friday September 28th, 2012

Robert Laurie

By ROBERT LAURIE - On the surface, the numbers look tough - but let's dig a little

The Jerusalem Post has just published a new set of polls about the upcoming election.  Conducted by the American Jewish Committee, the results show some disturbing news for the President.

According to the Post, a nationwide survey of Jews found that 65% intend to vote for the President, while 24% will cast their ballots for Mitt Romney. Another 10% are undecided.  Obama's numbers are mostly bolstered liberal denominations and Jews who consider themselves "unaffiliated."

Among Orthodox Jews Romney is doing much better, with 54% planning to vote for the challenger, and only 40% voting for Obama.

Now, you may be looking at these numbers and thinking they look terrible for Romney.  At face value, you'd be right.  However, exit polling in 2008 showed that Obama carried the entire Jewish vote by just over 75% - meaning he's lost 10 points in the last three years. Furthermore, it's important to remember that, in almost every Presidential election, undecided voters turn against the incumbent.  This means that Obama may lose another 6 or 7 percent from that category.  

In Florida, another poll from the same group shows Jews favoring Obama 69% to 25%, with just under 6% undecided.  Like the national polling, 75% of Jews in the sunshine state voted for Obama in 2008, meaning he's lost at least 6% of their support and maybe as much as 10%.

Given how important the Jewish vote is in Florida, you shouldn't underestimate what a sizable swing this really is. If the election is as close as many pundits expect, this could represent disastrous news for the Obama administration.

Bear in mind that all of this polling was done prior to the 17th of September, so it may not fully reflect feelings about the current uprisings in the Middle East, or take into account the full impact of the situation with Iran.