Jewish voters strongly favor Democrats in midterms and disapprove of Trump, poll finds


WASHINGTON (JTA) — Jewish voters strongly favor Democrats ahead of the midterm elections and disapprove of President Donald Trump substantially more than the general population, a new poll shows.

The poll published Wednesday by the Jewish Electorate Institute, a new group founded by Jewish Democrats, shows respondents favoring Democrats over Republicans, 74-26 percent. Only 25 percent approve of the job Trump is doing, while 75 percent disapprove. General population surveys show Trump’s approval ratings at 42 percent.

Among other findings, the survey also shows overwhelming support for Israel among Jewish Americans, 92 percent, although this breaks down among those who are critical of the current Israeli government’s policies (59 percent) and those who are supportive (32 percent.)

Respondents are evenly divided on Trump’s Israel policies, with 51 percent approving and 49 percent not approving — within the margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.

Jewish voters tend to rank domestic issues as more important than Israel when considering whom they would elect in November. Asked to rate issues, 83 percent said health care was at least “very important,” 90 percent ranked the Supreme Court the same, and 84 percent said the same about social safety net protections like Medicare and Social Security. Just 52 percent ranked Israel as “very important.”

The Jewish Electorate Institute board includes figures such as Barbara Goldberg Goldman, Stuart Kurlander, Michael Gelman and Ralph Grunewald, who have been involved in Democratic politics, as well as in Jewish and pro-Israel groups like the American Jewish Committee and The Israel Project.

The poll was carried out by The Mellman Group, a well-known outfit that has polled for Democrats and Jewish and other groups.

The respondents were selected randomly from lists of people who have opted to do online surveys and then asked if they were Jewish. The survey was based on 800 replies completed between Oct. 2 and 11.

Phone surveys are generally considered more reliable but have become increasingly expensive, in part because of the proliferation of cellphone use, and mainstream organizations, including The New York Times, have started using online polling, a methodology now widely accepted by top experts as accurate.

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