More exit polls, same result


We now have further data from exit polls of the Jewish vote — and it tells pretty much the same story as the numbers from Election NIght. Once again, Barack Obama prevailed among Jews by more than a three-to-one margin.

In a memo released by The Solomon Project, Democratic pollster Mark Mellman provides the result of 28 state exit polls that were taken separately from the national exit poll (which had already found Obama winning the Jewish vote 78-21 percent.) Aggregating those state results together, Obama received 76 percent of the Jewish vote, to just 22 percent for John McCain.

The state results do have a flaw, though, because they only cover 91 percent of the U.S. Jewish population. The other 9 percent of American Jews live in the 22 states not covered by the individual exit polls, including significant Jewish populations in Virginia and Texas.

On the other hand, the sample size for the aggregation of state polls is 825 Jews, meaning the margin of error is a slim plus or minus 2.9 percent. That’s a much larger sample than the national exit poll sample of 104 Jews, which has a margin of error of plus or minus eight percentage points.

Mellman argues in the memo that because the size of the Jewish population missing from the state polls is so small and the result matches so closely the national exit poll tally, "confidence in the accuracy of both surveys" significantly increases.

And when those two results are added to the "truly representative" national sample of 564 Jews taken by Gallup in its Oct. 1-21 tracking poll of Jews, which found Obama up by a 74-22 margin, one has three different sets of data providing similar answers, notes Mellman. (The weakness of the Gallup data, of course, is that it was not an exit poll but taken in the weeks before the election, when voters still had an opportunity to change their minds.)

"While each of the data sets can be criticized for one shortcoming or another, each makes up for a lack in the others and in combination they make a compelling and virtually unassailable case," writes Mellman.

The Solomon Project is an organization devoted to educating American Jews about their history of civic involvement. It is an unaffiliated 501(c)(3) organization that share office space and staff with the National Jewish Democratic Council. To read the full memo, click here.

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