New York (Apr. 16)
– More Americans have positive attitudes toward Jews now than at any time in recent years, despite the reported increase in anti-Semitic acts such as vandalism against synagogues, according to the results of a Gallup Poll taken last month compared to previous polls.
The poll was conducted among 1601 persons in 300 localities around the country between March 13-16. Forty percent of those polled reported “highly favorable” opinions of Jews as against 33 percent who were asked the same question in 1975. The poll also found that the climate for Jews seeking political office improved dramatically during the last decade. In 1973, 46 percent of Americans polled said they would vote for a Jewish Presidential candidate. In 1978, the figure was 82 percent.
From 1968 to 1978, the proportion of Americans who approved of marriages between Jews and non-Jews rose from 59 percent to 69 percent, according to the poll. Only two percent of the sample interviewed last month had highly unfavorable opinions of Jews.
Favorable attitudes were reported by 46 percent of Catholics and 39 percent of Protestants. Asked if they thought Jews were trying to get too much power in the U.S., 12 percent of Protestants and 13 percent of Catholics replied in the affirmative, compared to 35 percent of Protestants and 33 percent of Catholics asked the same question in 1952.
According to the Gallup organization, the growth of religious tolerance in the U.S. parallels the increase in the number of college-educated persons. Each survey found the college-educated more tolerant than those with less formal education.