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Poll: US Jews Still Like Obama, But Support Softens Slightly

A new Gallup poll released Tuesday indicates that Jewish support for President Obama has slipped over the past months – but only slightly.
By David Lev
First Publish: 7/5/2011, 10:22 PM / Last Update: 7/6/2011, 1:10 AM

A new Gallup poll released Tuesday indicates that Jewish support for U.S. President Barack H. Obama has slipped over the past  month – but only slightly. The latest poll, covering the period between May 19 and June 30, had 60% of American Jews approving of the job Obama is doing, down from a high of 68% in mid-May, which coincided with the successful killing of arch-terrorist Osama Bin-Laden. According to Gallup, June's 60% positive rating is “statistically unchanged” from a 64% positive rating Jews gave Obama last April.

Although there had been concern in the Obama administration that the speech the President gave in May to AIPAC – in which he stressed that he expected Israel to use the 1949 armistice borders as the basis of its negotiations with the PA – would damage the President, the poll seemed to indicate that the fear was misplaced.

According to Gallup, Obama's speech had little or no impact on the trend. Any fall of Jewish support for the President was part of a general  fall in support for him among all Americans. In June, only 46% of all Americans said Obama was doing a good job – a 14% gap with the number of American Jews who made that statement, with the gap between American Jews and Americans in general remaining consistent throughout Obama's two and a half years in office.

“Aggregated Gallup Daily tracking interviews for the month and half periods prior to and following the speech show no significant or sustained shift in Jewish Americans' views toward Obama. Sixty-five percent approved of him for the April 1-May 18 time period, and 62% approved from May 19-June 30. Across the two time periods, approval was also essentially flat among all U.S. adults,” the organization said. In addition, the speech had virtually no impact on Jewish democrats, the poll said.

The poll did not break down Jewish support by affiliation (Orthodox, Conservative, etc.) nor by location, but pollsters did differentiate between those who said they attended synagogue on a regular basis, and those seldom or never attend – an indicator of involvement in the Jewish community. Of those who do attend weekly or almost every week, 51% said Obama was doing a good job in June, while 39% disapproved of his performance. Among those who never/seldom attended, 70% approved of Obama, while 25% disapproved.