Menu JTA Search

More on that poll of Jewish Dems

The Traditional Values Coalition has now released the full results of that poll of Jewish Democrats I wrote about earlier this week. (Here is the link to all 51 questions and the results.) And as I said in my first post, there are results that continue to show strong support for President Obama among Jewish Democrats as well as some potential areas of weakness — although probably not as much as the TVC argues there is.

In its press release accompanying the poll, TVC chairman and founder Rev. Louis Sheldon says that "support for President Obama is high among Jewish Americans but half express concerns and disagreements with specific policies, particularly where Iran is involved. In other words, the President’s support among Jewish Americans is a mile wide but when specific issues about Israel’s defense are raised it is about halved and looks ‘an inch deep.’ "

The general support for Obama is pretty clear in the poll — he receives 92 percent job approval and by a margin of 58-16 percent, respondents say he is "doing a good job of promoting peace in the Middle East." And when asked whether the president is being "too tough on Israel," just 18 percent say yes and 55 percent say no.

The numbers dealing with what TVC calls "specific" Obama policies are more complicated. because one could argue about whether the poll fairly characterizes those policies, and sometimes creates debatable hypotheticals.

For instance, take this question:

President Obama says that if Israel could settle its dispute with the Palestinian refugees and give them a nation of their own, that the Arabs would live in peace with Israel. But many people disagree and say that the Arabs will never live in peace with Israel and that giving them a nation of their own will just make them stronger. Which view comes closest to your own?

Respondents chose the latter response by a 52-20 margin, but many would argue that’s an extreme simplification of Obama’s position (and the odd use of the term "refugees," and the idea of the "right of return" that it could stir up in respondents, could have an effect on answers as well.)

And then there’s this one:

President Obama says that it is very important that Israel not expand its settlements on the West Bank so as not to alienate the Palestinians. Israel says it should be allowed to build new homes in existing settlements but not to start new ones. Which view comes closet to your own?

Once again, respondents chose the option that was not associated with President Obama, by a 52-37 margin, but Obama supporters could certainly argue that Obama wants Israel to stop expanding settlements on the West Bank because its a requirement of the Road Map, not just because it might "alienate" Palestinians.

As for the issue Sheldon specifically mentions, Iran, there does seem to be some uncertainty about Obama on that situation within the Jewish Democratic community — but the poll also found opinions on the proper policy on Iran are mixed.

When asked whether there is "any real chance that Iran could be stopped from developing a bomb without an Israeli attack," 38 percent say yes, 25 percent say no and a very high 38 percent say not sure. But a large 62 percent opposed Israel bombing Iran to stop them from developing nuclear weapons, with only 15 percent in favor.

As for questions about Obama’s policies, 40 percent said they thought the president "would support Israel if it attacked Iran" while 45 percent said they weren’t sure. But the question that shows the most disageement with Obama is purely hypothetical — "If President Obama told Israel not to attack Iran but offered no real assurance that he could stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, would you support or oppose Obama’s decision?" Just 26 percent backed Obama’s decision in that scenario, while 40 percent opposed it and 34 percent were "not sure."

In the press release, Sheldon said the poll was done "to better understand attitudes in the American Jewish community as the threat to Israel increases and radical Islam rises throughout the world, particularly in America and the West."

The poll was conducted July 22 – 24 by Global Marketing Research Services of Melbourne, Florida. It was a telephone sample of 500 respondents who self-identified as Jewish Democrats, and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

The full TVC press release is after the jump:[[READMORE]]

The Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) released a poll today which finds Jewish Americans conflicted in their support for Israel and President Barack Obama.

TVC Chairman and Founder Rev. Louis P. Sheldon said the poll was done to better understand attitudes in the American Jewish community as the threat to Israel increases and radical Islam rises throughout the world, particularly in America and the West.

“Support for President Obama is high among Jewish Americans but half express concerns and disagreements with specific policies, particularly where Iran is involved.

“In other words, the President’s support among Jewish Americans is a mile wide but when specific issues about Israel’s defense are raised it is about halved and looks ‘an inch deep.’

“This poll finds broad support among American Jewish Democrats for President Obama (92 percent). But in this all-Democrat sample, 52 percent said they ‘disagree with President Obama – Arabs won’t live in peace with Israel/giving Palestinians a nation of their own will make them stronger.’ And 44 percent said they did not know what Obama would do if Israel took a defensive action against Iran.

More than half those polled felt it was likely that Israel could be destroyed by a nuclear attack launched by Iran but only 15 percent supported a preemptive attack against Iranian nuclear weapons by Israel.

“It has alarmed me the number of times I am required to defend Israel in speeches and conversations with predominantly Jewish groups,” said Rev. Sheldon, an ordained Presbyterian minister whose mother was Jewish.

“As Israel faces an increased threat from its neighbors and as radical Islam is on the march throughout the free world, America’s commitment to Israel is likely to be tested once again. A strong coalition of religious citizens, composed largely of Christians and Jews, is critical to America’s future, to the continued existence of the Israeli state and to defeating the anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian objectives of radical Islam.

“This poll found Jewish Americans divided and conflicted – against any preemptive action to stop Iran’s deployment of nuclear weapons (only 15 percent support). But more than 50 percent felt it likely or somewhat likely that Israel could be destroyed by an Iranian nuclear attack in the next 10 years.

The poll was conducted July 22 – 24 by Global Marketing Research Services of Melbourne, Florida. It is a telephone sample of 500 respondents who self-identified as Jewish Democrats. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus four percent.

NEXT STORY