Thursday, July 21, 2011

JStreet Poll: A majority of American Jews Distrust Obama on Israel Policy

(HuffingtonPost).A newly released poll of Jewish American voters, which was sponsored by the progressive-leaning group J Street and designed by prominent Democratic pollster Jim Gerstein, has Jewish Americans approving of the president’s job performance by a 20-percentage point margin, with 60 percent approving and 40 percent disapproving.

56 percent of respondents disapproved of the job he was doing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while 44 percent approved.

Jewish Americans were split on Obama's handling of the economy, with 51 percent approving and 49 percent disapproving.

Despite loosing a chunk of that early support -- and facing skepticism on the economy and Middle East policy -- wary of the president, American Jews aren't bolting elsewhere. In a hypothetical match-up against former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Obama holds a 63 percent to 24 percent advantage, Against Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Obama's advantage is wider: 67 percent to 19 percent.

Those margins fall short of the 78-21 percent victory Obama scored among Jewish voters when he squared off against Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.

pollster Jim Gerstein's prediction: If those who are currently undecided break according to their party identification, Obama would reach 70 percent of the Jewish vote against Romney, who enjoyed only a 16 percent favorable opinion rating (60 percent unfavorable). Obama would reach 73 percent against Bachmann, who had a 12 percent favorable rating (57 percent unfavorable) in the poll.

When it comes to campaign money, The survey found that of the 16 percent of respondents who said they made a contribution the Obama campaign in 2008, 82 percent said they will donate again or already have done so. Gerstein acknowledges the loss of one donation bundler could erase the benefits of maintaining popularity among a wide swath of smaller donors.

The J Street poll was conducted online July 7-12 among 800 Jewish Americans who participate in online surveys conducted by the polling company YouGov/Polimetrix and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.