Disappointed Clinton supporter
Disappointed Clinton supporterReuters

Seventy percent of self-identified Jewish voters favored Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, with 25 percent opting for Donald Trump, according to a J Street poll.

The national survey, commissioned by the left liberal Jewish Middle East policy group, whom many consider anti-Zionist for its urging the US to pressure Israel to accept a two-state solution, again showed a community that trends more Democratic than the general population.

However, it probably should not be considered one community, as the dichotomy between Reform, Conservative and unaffiliated Jews - many of whom are not halakhically Jewish - and the different levels even within mainstream Orthodox, is clear-cut. The poll did not factor in this dichotomy and is therefore flawed in its generalities about the Jewish population.

The 70% statistical support of Clinton does not describe the Orthodox and haredi sectors, who were overwhelmingly supportive of Trump except for several hassidic groups and the poll results roughly divide along their percentage in what is considered the Jewish population by pollsters.

Clinton and Trump drew almost even in the popular vote in the balloting Tuesday – the former secretary of state edged her Republican rival slightly — but Trump scored a decisive victory in the electoral college vote.

“American Jews remain a bedrock Democratic constituency, with overwhelming disdain for Donald Trump,” J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami said in a conference call with reporters, a statement that is true when referring to the non-Orthodox streams.

Jim Gerstein, the pollster, said liberal Jews continued to remain unstinting in their support of the party.

“They voted for Clinton more than Hispanics did, more than any other religious group, including no religion,” Gerstein said.

Trump’s percentage was less than the 30 percent garnered in 2012 by Mitt Romney in his loss to incumbent President Barack Obama, but commensurate with the 24 percent won by President George W. Bush in 2004.

The economy led those Jewish voters’ concerns in the poll, with 35 percent of respondents listing it as their first or second priority. Tied for second at 27 percent were health care and terrorism. Israel scored ninth, at 9 percent.

Those figures are typical when both candidates in an election are seen as basically supportive of Israel, the poll claims, although this feeling is not shared by right-leaning and mainstream Orthodox Jews, who feared that Clinton would continue Obama's anti-Israel stance and opposed her election.

The numbers were similar in a Florida poll — 68 percent for Clinton and 28 percent for Trump — and voters there scored similar priorities. Trump narrowly won the state.

J Street conducted the Florida poll in part to see if last-minute pushes by presidential campaigns in the state in recent elections emphasizing pro-Israel credentials were justified by a community likely to rate Israel higher. But the results were virtually the same, with Israel rating ninth at 8 percent.

The group’s national results also comported with national exit polls carried out by a consortium of major media outlets showing Jews favoring Clinton over Trump 71-24 percent.

J Street’s poll was conducted by Gerstein Bocian Agne on Election Day and reached 731 self-identified Jews who volunteered from among 3 million Americans who belong to a web-based panel. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

The Florida poll reached 500 self-identified Jews through cellphones and landlines, also on Election Day, and had a margin of error of 5.4 percentage points.