Don’t believe Obama’s latest Jewish poll numbers

The new national Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday found that President Obama’s approval rating in the Jewish community stands at just 52 percent. It also appears to be a completely unreliable number.

I am making no judgement on the findings of the overall Quinnipiac poll of 2,313 voters, but when looking specifically at the Jewish number and the findings from three previous surveys, the swings are so dramatic to not make any sense.

Let’s start in August, when a July 27-Aug.3 Quinnipiac survey found Obama with a 66 percent approval rating in the Jewish community, to just 30 percent disapproval. Nothing particularly noteworthy or surprrising there.

But two months later, in a poll taken from Sept. 29-Oct. 5 that nobody in the Jewish community even noticed, Obama’s approval among Jews, according to Quinnipiac, dropped like a rock — all the way down to 46 percent. In fact, 47 percent disapproved of Obama in that poll.

But hold on, six weeks later, Obama had gained a remarkable 29 percentage points — for no apparent reason — in a poll taken Nov. 9-16. He registered 75 percent approval in that poll and just 22 percent disapproval.

And then we get to the latest poll, taken from Dec. 1-6, which found Obama at just 52 percent approval, compared to 35 percent disapproval. So the president lost 25 percentage points of support in a couple weeks. That doesn’t make a lot of sense. Unless you think that White House Chanukah party guest list reduction really took a toll on the president’s popularity among Jews (how many Jews could there possibly be who thought they were on the list at 800, but not 400?). But seriously, the one major event that happened in that time was the announcement of an Israeli settlement freeze, but it’s hard to see that resulting in a large swing either way in the president’s popularity — since it had been talked about for months.

Why the huge swings in the numbers here? It’s likely the Jewish sample size in the poll. UPDATE: Quinnipiac says that just 71 Jews were surveyed for the poll, for a margin of error of plus or minus 11.6 percent  And pollsters continually say that such a sample is way too small to be reliable.

This Gallup poll, for instance, found Obama’s popularity at 64 percent approval in the Jewish community in September, and it had a sample of 379 Jews — big enough for pollsters to have confidence in the results. We can’t say the same about this Quinnipiac poll.

That didn’t mean the Republican Jewish Coalition passed up the opportunity to crow about the poll, saying voters are having "buyers’ remorse" because of the president’s policies on the Middle East and the economy. Their full release is after the jump:[[READMORE]]

According to a Quinnipiac poll released today (1), Jewish support for President Obama has tumbled to 52%. In January, Obama’s approval rating among Jews was 83%; by September it had fallen to 64%, according to a Gallup poll (2).
 
The Quinnipiac poll asked respondents whether they approved of President Obama’s handling of specific issues. Only 52% of Jewish respondents approved of the way President Obama is handling the economy, and 49% approved of his handling of health care.
 
Among Jewish respondents, only 36% were satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the way things are going in the U.S. today.           
 
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks said, "Overall support for President Obama is falling in this country; Rasmussen polls have pegged him with around 48% approval and  52% disapproval for the last few weeks (3). Even among Jewish voters his numbers are declining quickly.
 
"Voters are becoming more aware of the details of President Obama’s agenda for this country. The glow of the ‘hope and change’ mantra has faded in the face of the higher unemployment, higher taxes, and higher national debt that his agenda will impose on us and our children.
 
"In addition, the Jewish community has been troubled by the efforts of this administration to pressure Israel on the issue of ‘settlements’ and has raised questions about the sovereignty of Israel over a united Jerusalem. These and other actions by the President have fueled the growing ‘buyers’ remorse’ on the part of Jewish voters."
 
(1) http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1403
(2) http://www.gallup.com/poll/123413/u.s.-jews-lead-religious-groups-support-obama.aspx
(3) http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

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