Obama's Approval Rating Falling Among American Jews

Support gap between Jews, general US population narrowing; religious Jews more likely to disapprove of Obama.

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Tova Dvorin,

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Reuters

While American Jews have supported US President Barack Obama significantly more than the general population in survey polls, that gap is narrowing, Gallup reported Friday - and disparagement is highest among the most religious. 

Survey polls conducted over the past 6 years of Obama's presidency usually indicate a gap of at least 12-13 percentage points between American Jews' approval and the general population, but that has since dwindled to barely 8 percentage points.

54% of American Jews and 46% of the general population approved of Obama's work during the first quarter of 2015, according to the most recent survey. The results are based on interviews with 44,101 Americans, 1,022 of whom identify as "Jewish." 

Obama's approval rating dwindles further as the observance level of American Jewry rises, the poll adds. 58% of Jews who "almost never" attend synagogue approved of Obama, versus just 38% who disapprove; Obama's approval ratings fall to just 53% and 34% among Jews who "attend synagogue nearly weekly/monthly" and "attend weekly," respectively. 

A correlation was also drawn between approval and education, with a large percentage point gap between American Jews with a High School diploma or less who approved of Obama (just 39%) and those who hold a Postgraduate degree (62%). 

The poll concludes by noting that American Jews are twice as likely to identify as Democrat rather than Republican, but also suggested that the bevy of remarks the Obama administration has made against Israel recently may work against him regardless of partisan allegiances. 

Tensions have between Jerusalem and Washington have been on the rise, most recently over the Iranian nuclear talks, which Israel has stated repeatedly are a "historic mistake" that endangers everyone in the region. 

Weeks earlier, discord was sowed over comments made by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before the elections that he would do everything in his power to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Netanyahu later backtracked on those comments, saying he wants “a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution”. The White House, however, was not convinced, dismissing the comments and bluntly warning Israel that its "occupation of Palestinian land" must end.

The relations were tense even before this, however, and revolved around Netanyahu’s speech to Congress which was organized by House Republicans, bypassing the White House.

Both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry said they would not meet with Netanyahu while he was in Washington, citing the proximity of his visit to the elections in Israel.








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