Jewish Party ID: First 2016 numbers

February 18, 2016

A new short analysis from Gallup from a few weeks ago focused on Jewish support for President Barack Obama:

Obama’s approval ratings throughout his presidency have averaged 13 points higher among Jewish Americans than among the general population. The trend in Obama’s approval ratings among U.S. Jews largely mirrors his ratings among the general public. Both declined in 2014, and both have since improved, but the rebound has been slightly stronger among U.S. adults overall than among Jewish Americans. As a result, the gap between Jewish Americans and all Americans shrank to below double digits for the first time last year — to nine points in the first six months and to eight points in the most recent six-month stretch.

Jewish support for Obama is not as high as it used to be, but still relatively high compared to other US populations. US Jews have specific characteristics that make their support for Obama almost obvious:

While Obama’s job approval differs across segments of the Jewish population, he benefits from the fact that he performs best among the largest subgroups: liberal, nonreligious and highly educated Jews. Jewish Americans are disproportionately liberal (41%, compared with 23% of the general population), and 85% of Jewish liberals approve of Obama’s job performance. About half of U.S. Jews (51%) are not religious, compared with 31% of all Americans, and Obama’s approval rating among nonreligious Jews stands at 65%. More than a third of Jews — 36% — have done postgraduate work, compared with 13% of the general population, and Obama has a 63% approval rating among them.

Of course, support for the Democratic President is higher among Democratic voters, and Jews, by and large, are Democratic voters. In our Jewish Party ID feature we track Party Identification among US Jews, and the new Gallup analysis provides us with the first new data for 2016 that can be added to our Jewish Party ID tracker.

Here is the updated table of Jewish support for the parties, including the latest numbers from Gallup:

[table id=2 /]

* AJC annual surveys of Jewish opinion; ** Gallup; *** Jewish Distinctiveness in America, Tom W. Smith. T, 2005; **** Pew ***** JS ****** PEW (Portrait of Jewish Americans); ****** Jewish Journal;

And here is the trend-line of Democratic support. Note that many of the fluctuations are due to differences in surveys – some of which include only two categories (GOP and Democrats) while others include three (GOP, Democrats, Independents) – and that the overall trend still seems to be an increase in the share of Jewish Democrats among the Jewish American population.

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