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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Obama's Jewish support in NY drops 22% in one month

This is significant but nowhere near as significant as it would be if it were coming from, for example, Florida. President Obama's support among Jews in New York has dropped 22% in the last month (Hat Tip: Bad Blue).
The poll, conducted by Siena College, finds that currently President Obama has the support of 51 percent of Jewish voters, while 43 percent are opposed to him. Five percent are undecided. That means, Obama's lead among Jewish voters is at 8 percentage points.

Previously, in Siena's May poll, Obama had the support 62 percent of Jewish New Yorkers, while 32 percent opposed him. That means, last month, Obama's lead among this group of voters was at a strong 30 percentage points.

Those polled were responding to this straight forward question: "If the election for President were held today, who would you vote for if the candidates were [Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, or Don't know]?

Additionally, Jewish voters in New York overwhelmingly believe that America is "headed in the wrong direction" as opposed to "the right track," by a margin of 62 percent to 31 percent.

Perhaps most troubling for President Obama's prospects with Jewish voters were these two questions. "Overall, would you say that you and your family are better off now than you were four years ago, about the same as you were four years ago, or worse off today than you were four years ago?," the poll asked. Only 13 percent of Jewish New Yorkers said that they are better off now, under Obama, while 41 percent said that they are doing worse. (Forty-five percent said they're doing the same.)
The surprise here isn't that Obama has only 51% support now, but that he had a 62-30 lead last month. You see, New York's results are meaningful for New York... and New Jersey and that's about it. New York has an unusually high percentage of Orthodox Jews, and Orthodox Jews tend to be more conservative, to vote more Republican, and to place a higher priority on Israel than Jews out in the hinterlands. The only other state that comes close to New York in this respect is New Jersey.
After decades of decline, the Jewish population of New York City is growing again, increasing to nearly 1.1 million, fueled by the “explosive” growth of the Hasidic and other Orthodox communities, a new study has found.

...

Members of these Orthodox groups also have been known to be far more likely to adopt more conservative positions on matters like abortion, same-sex marriage and the Israeli approach to the Palestinians.

At the same time, among non-Orthodox Jews, there has been a weakening in observance of quintessential Jewish practices. Participation in Passover Seders has declined: 14 percent of households never attend one, almost twice as many as a decade ago. Reform and Conservative movements each lost about 40,000 members between 2002 and 2011; nearly a third of the respondents who identified themselves as Jews said they did not ally themselves with a denomination or claimed no religion.

...

That shift appears quite likely to grow even more pronounced. Now, 40 percent of Jews in the city identify themselves as Orthodox, an increase from 33 percent in 2002; 74 percent of all Jewish children in the city are Orthodox.

The New York area’s Jewish population is the largest in the world outside of Israel. It composes about one-third of the American Jewish population, which has been estimated at around six million (the census does not ask about religion).
Read the whole thing.

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