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The Politics Of American Jews – OpEd

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Every Democratic presidential contender would overwhelmingly outperform US President Donald Trump with Jewish voters in a head-to-head match-up this fall, according to new poll from the Jewish Electorate Institute (JEI).

Former South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg would do best winning 69% to 31%; and Mayor Mike Bloomberg would do as well 67% to 28%; followed by Biden 67% to 31%; and Warren 65% to 32%.

Even the self-proclaimed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders would defeat Trump 65% to 30%, despite only 52% of American Jews having a favorable view of Sanders, and 45% having an unfavorable view of him, the survey found.

The poll, conducted by Garin-Hart-Yang Research Associates on behalf of JEI, took place from February 18-24. The online survey of 1,001 self-identified high-propensity Jewish voters has a margin of error of 3.2 percentage points.

US Jewish voters remain highly supportive of the Jewish state’s right to exist and defend itself: 91% said they were generally pro-Israel, even though 56% identified themselves as “critical” of the Netanyahu government.

While a large majority of US Jewish voters disapprove of Trump’s performance on domestic policy issues — from taxes to healthcare and reproductive rights — a slim majority approves his management of US-Israel relations.

Fifty-one percent said they supported his Israel policies; 39% said they didn’t; and 52% said they approved of his decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty on the Golan Heights.

The US Jewish community appeared much more equally divided on Trump’s decision to move the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Whereas 45% approved of the move, 42% said they were opposed to it.

Orthodox Jews (the president’s daughter and son-in-law are Orthodox Jews) are much more supportive of the move, while Reform and Conservative Jews are more opposed.


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Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Allen Maller retired in 2006 after 39 years as Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif. He is the author of an introduction to Jewish mysticism. God. Sex and Kabbalah and editor of the Tikun series of High Holy Day prayerbooks.

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