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Obama Losing New York's Jewish Support

Obama’s support from Jews in New York State has plummeted in the past month and he now can count only on a slim majority to vote for him.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 6/13/2012, 12:04 PM

Obama during phone call to Netanyahu in 2009
Obama during phone call to Netanyahu in 2009
White House

President Barack Obama’s support from Jews in New York State has plummeted in the past month and he now can count only on a slim majority to vote for him. The poll indicated that the reason for the drop in support is that Jews – like others – feel worse off than four years ago.

The president is expected to easily win New York in the November election. “New York is showing no indication of moving away from its solidly blue status in presidential elections over the last two and a half decades," noted Siena poll spokesman Steven Greenberg.

However, the drop in Jewish support is a worrying sign for his fundraisers and for campaign managers in states where the Jewish vote may be critical.

If elections were held today, only 48 percent of the Jews in New York said that President Obama should be re-elected, with 46 percent saying the next president should be Mitt Romney, the de facto Republican candidate who is to be officially nominated at next month’s party convention.

The entire state would favor Obama over Romney by a 54-42 margin if elections were held today.

The results were slightly different when voters were asked directly if they would vote for Obama or Romney today, with the incumbent president receiving 51 percent of the Jewish vote while 43 percent went for Romney. Statewide, Obama had a commanding 59-35 advantage.

In response to a question if individuals felt better or worse off today than four years ago, only 25 percent responded in the positive and 32 percent in the negative. The breakdown among Jewish voters was more negative – only 13 percent feeling better off and 41 percent worse off.

Similarly, only 30 percent of the respondents and 27 percent of Jewish voters viewed the United States as being in a better position than it was four years ago. However, they were more optimistic regarding prospects down the road, with 50 and 52 percent saying the country will be in a better position and only 15 and 11 percent predicting it will be in a worse position.

The Jewish voters’ opinions on the direction of the United States were more negative than other voters', with only 31 percent seeing the country as heading in the right direction and 62 percent replying in the negative. For voters as a whole, the breakdown was 40-53.

Despite the drop in support for Obama, 56 percent of the Jewish respondents expressed favorable views towards Obama and only 41 percent were favorable to Romney. Statewide, 59 percent were favorable to the president.