By Ron Kampeas
WASHINGTON — American Jewish voters give President Joe Biden a 70% approval rating, an American Jewish Committee poll found, while 26% of Jewish voters disapprove of his job performance.
The survey published Wednesday, the first of its kind so far in Biden’s presidency, is commensurate with past Jewish support for Democratic presidents. It is released as Biden seeks to quell the coronavirus pandemic that consumed the final year of Donald Trump’s presidency, calm racial tensions roiled by a year of protests against police violence, revive the economy and manage the crisis engendered by the conflict last month between Israel and Hamas.
The survey showed that 79% of respondents approved of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and 19% disapproved; 68% approved of his handling of race relations and 28% disapproved; and 71% approved of his handling of the economy while 27% disapproved. On antisemitism, which has spiked in recent months, 64% approve of how Biden handles the threat while 23% disapprove.
Biden did not fare as well on the immigration issue during a crisis as migrants increase at the Mexico-U.S. border: 54% of respondents approved and 42% disapproved of how he has handled immigration.
Other issues with narrower gaps were his handling of the Middle East: 58% percent approve of his handling of U.S.-Israel relations while 27% disapprove. The survey of 1,000 respondents reached by phone took place from March 25-May 9, the day before the Israel-Hamas war broke out.
Biden also wants to reenter the Iran nuclear deal. The survey found that 55% percent of respondents approve of Biden’s handling of the Iranian nuclear issue while 32% do not.
Biden had the approval of only 19 percent of Orthodox Jews. In recent years, Orthodox Jewish polling has shown that the community politically is the polar opposite of the broader Jewish community, with overwhelming majorities of Orthodox voters supporting Republicans.
The survey was carried out by the SSRS research firm and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points, although the margin would be larger for subsets, for instance, in measuring the Orthodox community’s approval.
Elements of the survey covering “U.S. political issues, U.S-Israel relations, and the peace process,” will be released later this month, an AJC release said.