New Poll Shows Jews Favor Obama

Discussion in 'Politics' started by ZZZzzzzzzz, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. If Barack Obama has a problem among Jewish voters, then Sen. Joseph Lieberman is in monumental trouble.

    Among the most high-profile Jews in Congress, Lieberman is viewed far more unfavorably than the presumptive Democratic nominee, according to a new poll. Only 37 percent of Jews view the Connecticut Independent in a favorable light compared to 48 percent who have a negative perception. As for Obama, 60 percent of Jews view him favorably while 34 percent view him unfavorably.

    The findings were released as part of a recent survey of American Jews by the new progressive pro-Israel group J Street. They seem to upturn some of this year's conventional political wisdom.

    Obama, who is set to travel to Israel this week, is often described in the press as facing significant obstacles to winning Jewish support, in part because of false claims that he is a Muslim. Lieberman, meanwhile, is regularly quoted disparaging Obama's credentials on topics considered dear to the Jewish voter's heart: toughness on Iran and support for the Jewish state. Asked recently whether he should be questioning Obama's commitment to Israel, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee responded, "why wouldn't I do that?"

    Lieberman does score better among the 900 Jewish voters polled than other major political and religious figures. President Bush is viewed unfavorably by 74 percent of Jews, compared to 22 percent who see him in a positive light. McCain, meanwhile, is viewed favorably by just 34 percent of Jews, while 57 said they had a negative perception. On the lowest end of the spectrum stood Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was viewed favorably by just five percent of Jews and unfavorably by 68 percent.

    For Lieberman, however, the findings present another piece of dreary news in a month filled with controversy. In early July, Quinnipiac University found that the Connecticut Senator's approval rating among his constituents had dropped to 45 percent, with 43 percent expressing disapproval. One week later, the Senator watched as a petition, signed by 43,000 individuals, was sent to members of the Senate's steering committee urging them to boot him from the party.

    Not that there is tremendous significance to these developments or numbers. Lieberman has eagerly taken to his role of McCain attack dog, in the process alienating large portions of the Democrats that make up both the Jewish community and his Connecticut constituency. Not to mention the relatively common misconception that Jews naturally are aligned with Lieberman's hard-line tilt on foreign affairs. According to J Street, 38 percent of respondents had a positive view of the conservative leaning AIPAC, compared to 44 percent who viewed the liberal in a favorable light.

    As for the rest of J Street's finding, they provide a mixed bag for Obama. The Illinois Democrat - who one percent of the population thinks is Jewish - has a substantial lead among Jews in the presidential race: 62 percent to 32 percent. But that margin is smaller than what both Al Gore and John Kerry earned in their perspective races.

    On the flip side, the study suggests that there is room within the Jewish community for the presumptive Democratic nominee's support to grow. As Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent noted in a review of the J Street poll, Jews are "liberal as hell."

    "Seventy-four percent of us view Bush unfavorably and 83 percent of us disapprove of his job performance," Ackerman wrote. "While 76 percent of the country as a whole says the U.S. is on the wrong track, an astonishing 90 percent of American Jews say the same. Only 21 percent of us approve of the Iraq war and only 29 percent think Bush is good for Israel, and those are clearly the shmucks that kissed ass in Hebrew school and snitched when the rest of us used the synagogue phone booth and cloakroom to make out."
  2. Never heard of this group that sponsored the poll. Smells like typical dirty tricks, designed to spook McCain out of picking Lieberman as his VP.
  3. Why not do some research first before your knee jerk reactionary ad hominem attacks?

    Among J Street’s leadership: Ben-Ami, a former senior domestic policy advisor to President Bill Clinton and former policy advisor to Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean; Alan Solomont, a former finance director to the Democratic National Committee; Hannah Rosenthal, former Executive Director to the Jewish Council on Public Affairs; Victor Kovner, former New York City Corporation Counsel; and Samuel Lewis, former U.S. ambassador to Israel under Presidents Carter and Reagan. The new group has an advisory counsel of 100 American members and has gathered letters of support from twenty some former Israeli security and diplomatic officials, including the former Israeli Defense Forces chief of staff Maj. Gen. Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, the former Israeli Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amos Lapidot, former Israeli foreign minister Shlomo Ben Ami, two former director generals of the Israeli foreign ministry David Kimche and Alon Liel, former Knesset speaker Avram Burg, and Dalia Rabin, daughter of former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and a former member of the Israeli Knesset and deputy defense minister.

  4. Here's a little research. It shows that AAA's reaction is far from knee jerk.

    "In reality, it is J Street, not AIPAC, that’s out of step, to the point that it can fairly be characterized as a fringe group (the fact that even Barack Obama won’t advocate negotiating with Hamas is a give-away). Kirchick notes that one of the most prominent Israelis involved with the group, Avrum Burg former speaker of the Knesset, has said that "to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end." He has also compared contemporary Israel to pre-Nazi Germany. Another key J Street member, Henry Siegman, has compared Israel to apartheid South Africa, accused Israeli leaders of having the U.S. government "in their pockets," and claimed that the 2000 intifada "was not planned by Arafat, but a spontaneous eruption of Palestinian anger." It’s enough to make you wonder whether the “J” in “J Street” stands for Jimmy Carter."
  5. Any evidence in that one man's opinion (blog) that invalidates the poll showing Jews favoring Obama?

  6. Comparing the favorability of Obama and Lieberman among Jews is a meaningless statistical manipulation. The only meaningful comparison would be between Obama's favorability today and Kerry's 4 years ago, Gore's 8 years ago or Clinton's 12/16 years ago. And I don't think any of those comparisons would turn out in Obama's favor.
  7. When you don't know who was included in a poll or how it was conducted, then an opinion is just as good as a pole. Probably better, if the opinion has facts, and the poll tells nothing about methodology.
  8. Any evidence that the poll is bogus?

  9. While the numbers do sound about right IMO, it's still the responsibility of the poll to prove that it's not bogus and that it's using proper methodology...If of course the poll wants to be taken seriously. Polls that don't publish their methodologies usually have something to hide.
  10. The fact Lieberman was returned to the Senate from a solid blue state as a third party candidate says something about his numbers.

    That being said: What's the definition of a Jew?

    Some polls indicate over half of American Jews are secular agnostic. The Woody Allen type "Jew" goes years without visiting a temple. His self identification as a Jew is more of a social, cultural badge than a statement signifying religion.

    Among non-reform, non-agnostic "Jews" I'd imagine Lieberman has a large following. Much of the differential is age based. Older Jews are more traditional religious and stronger on Israel. Young Josh and Jake don't share Irv and Sam's devotion to a Jewish homeland.

    I became a bit of an expert on this during my Congressional race.

    My district is very 'Jewish" but mostly of the Woody Allen type. In those lakefront liberal precincts (the large hi-rises on Lake Shore Drive that came out huge for Obama), Bush recieved under an eighth of the vote against Kerry. However in parts of West Rogers Park, Lincolnwood and Skokie-neighborhoods with large amounts of Orthodox Jews-Bush carried precincts albeit by narrow margins but a majority none the less.
    #10     Jul 22, 2008