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New look at ’08 Jewish vote shows slight falloff for Obama

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A more thorough examination of exit poll data showed that Barack Obama received 74 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008 rather than the 78 percent widely cited until now.

The Solomon Project, a nonprofit that examines the role of Jews in U.S. politics, this week published an analysis of Jewish exit polling from 1972 to 2008.

The data for the first time incorporate state and national exit polling, allowing for much more reliable samples.

The national exit polls published by the National Election Pool, a consortium of news organizations, in 2008 assessed the 78 percent figure based on the 2 percent of 17,836 respondents who said they were Jewish, about 350 people, which has a margin of error of about 5 percentage points.

The combined state and national data amounted to 952 Jewish respondents, 74 percent of whom said they voted for Obama, and with a more reliable margin of error of 3.1 percent.

The overall Solomon Project report confirmed that Jews have voted overwhelmingly Democratic over the years, with a spike starting in 1992, when percentages rose from the mid-60s to the mid- to upper 70s.

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