(JTA).The AJC's annual poll released Monday showed 45 percent of voters approved of Obama as opposed to 48 percent disapproving, a statistical dead heat and a substantial drop from the 57 percent who approved of his performance in the 2010 AJC survey.
When respondents were asked about areas of performance, the disparity is widest on the economy, with 59.5 percent disapproving and 39.5 percent approving.
On foreign policy, there is a dead heat: 46.8 percent approving of Obama's performance versus 48.3 percent disapproving.
In perceptions of how Obama handled the U.S.-Israel relationship, 53 percent disapprove and 40 percent approve.
There was also a drop in how voters perceived Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's handling of the relationship, from 62 percent approving and 27 percent disapproving last year to 54 percent approving and 32 percent disapproving this year.
63 percent characterize the overall US-Israel relationship as positive, down from 68 percent last year.
The Republican contender who would do best against Obama with Jewish voters is Mitt Romney:
Romney garnered the backing of 32.1 percent of respondents as opposed to Obama's 50.3 percent.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry earned the favor of 24.5 percent of respondents and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) got 19.1 percent, both statistically commensurate with the 22 percent of the Jewish vote Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) earned in the 2008 presidential race.
The big chunks of undecided respondents in the match-ups suggest a lesson for Democrats as well, he said.
"You still have the solid support of Jewish voters, but don't take it for granted," David Harris, AJC's director, said. "You have to make your case better than you have until now."