Just over three quarters of American Jews have an unfavorable view of President Donald Trump, and 74 percent of them plan to vote for Democrats in next month’s midterm elections.
That’s according to a new poll from The Jewish Electorate Institute, a new group founded by Jewish Democrats and released on Oct. 17.
Though those findings track with decades of prior data — Jews have largely voted Democrat since the beginning of the 20th century, and no Republican presidential candidate has ever bested the 43 percent of the Jewish electorate captured by Warren G. Harding’s 1920 campaign — other findings revealed some interesting tensions created by the Trump era.
Though 24 percent of the 800 respondents said they had a favorable view of Trump, 51 percent said they approved of the way he had handled U.S.-Israel relations. Forty-one ercent approved of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and 6 percent said they’d consider voting for him based on his work on
U.S.-Israel relations alone, despite their other reservations about his time in office.
In addition, 64 percent said they believed the Democrats to be a “pro-Israel” party, and 84 percent of those identifying as Democrats also identified as “pro-Israel.”
“Israel policy is not going to win Republicans any votes in November,” said Hailie Soifer, executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America.
The Republican Jewish Coalition did not respond to several requests for comment.
The poll was conducted by The Mellman Group, which has polled for Democratic, Jewish and other groups. Board members of the Jewish Electoral Institute include Michael Gelman and Stuart Kurlander, who are members of the ownership group of Mid-Atlantic Media, which provides editorial services to the Jewish Exponent.
The issue of being “pro-Israel” had large internal factions: 32 percent described themselves as both pro-Israel and supportive of its policies; 35 percent said they’re supportive of Israel, but remain critical of some policies; and 24 percent responded that they were pro-Israel but critical of “many” policies. Just 3 percent said they were “generally not pro-Israel.”
Health care was Trump’s worst-polling issue with the Jewish voters surveyed. Seventy-eight percent responded that they disapproved of the job he’d done thus far. Eighty-three percent listed “making quality affordable health care available to every American” as “very important” when it came to deciding how they vote.
By contrast, 52 percent ranked Israel as “very important” to how they will vote.
Jesse Bernstein is a staff writer for the Baltimore Jewish Times, an affiliated publication of the Jewish Exponent.