As Romney heads to Israel, new poll shows Jewish Americans favor Obama
July 27th, 2012
08:06 PM ET
2 years ago

As Romney heads to Israel, new poll shows Jewish Americans favor Obama

(CNN) – On the eve of Mitt Romney's overseas visit to Israel, a new poll released Friday indicates Jewish Americans favor the president over Mitt Romney by a solid margin.

According to the Gallup survey, 68% of Jewish Americans back President Barack Obama, while 25% support the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

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The numbers follow what some have called a politically timed signing of the U.S.-Israeli security act by the president declaring support for the country before Romney's visit to the Jewish state. Obama signed the bill passed by Congress pledging $70 million to increase U.S. security ties with Israel.

Romney's visit to Israel is part of a three-country foreign policy swing that will take the former Massachusetts governor from London to Tel Aviv on Saturday, then to Poland next week. The Republican candidate is expected to promote a strong alliance between Israel and the United States while meeting with top Israeli officials.

According to the poll, Romney's meetings with Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, could garner more support from Republicans who are more in favor of both the prime minister and Israel than independents and Democrats.

But Jewish Americans tend to be Democratic voters and, as the polling suggests, while Republicans seem to have a more favorable view of Israel than Democrats, Jewish voters will most likely remain aligned to the president.

Obama topped Republican Sen. John McCain in 2008 among registered Jewish American voters, 78% to McCain's 21%, according to the National Jewish Democratic Council.

The Jewish electorate is one of the most dependable in the U.S. with 80% of eligible voters showing up at the polls for the last election. Turnout among all eligible voters in 2008 was 57%. And while Jews make up only 2% of the population they comprise 4% of the electorate.

Romney may be looking for a more media friendly visit following a slew of negative headlines in London responding to an NBC interview in which the presumptive GOP nominee said the preparation for the Olympic Games were 'disconcerting.'

Romney has said that he will not discuss American foreign policy on foreign soil characterizing this trip as an opportunity to "listen and learn." But that didn't stop him from criticizing the president on American soil prior to jumping the pond.

In an interview with the Jewish newspaper, Hayom, following a speech at the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno on Tuesday, Romney blasted Obama's handling of Israel, saying the president has bruised the country's ties with the Jewish state and instead offered his own course of action should he become president.

"I would treat Israel like the friend and ally it is," Romney said in an interview, which was not published until Friday.

Romney renewed criticism of the president for comments Obama made at the United Nations in 2009. At the time, Obama criticized Israel on the issue of settlements, taking a similar position as his predecessor's administration: "We continue to call on Palestinians to end incitement against Israel, and we continue to emphasize that America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements."

In the interview, Romney said: "I cannot imagine going to the United Nations, as Obama did, and criticizing Israel in front of the world. You don't criticize your allies in public to achieve the applause of your foes."

The Gallup poll was conducted from July 9-12 with a random sample of 1,014 adults aged 18 and older living in the United States. The sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

- CNN's Ashley Killough and CNN Senior National Editor Dave Schechter contributed to this report

– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.


Filed under: Israel • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (44 Responses)
  1. onevoice

    I hope Mittens remembered His "BIG BOY" Pants.

    July 27, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. cali ha ha

    Robbed me is toast. I predict he will release his running mate bachman or palin soon.

    July 27, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  3. A conservatave with brains

    No suprise there. Jewish Americans (wouldn't that just be "Jewish people"? Do we have Catholic Americans? Baptist Americans?) would favor Obama. Read the Mormon books about what the Mormon church thinks of Jewish people. Read the Mormon texts about who in the US has "the mark of Cain". Romney has been hiding his tax returns, his associations with Bain, his Massachusetts healthcare plan (very similar to Obama's) and his religion. How much does he have to hide before people start smelling something unpleasant? If this is the best the Republican Party can do, we are in big, big trouble as a party.

    July 27, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. YOU PEOPLE

    Oye Ve.....Obama has support of African Americans, Latinos, LGBT voters, youth and women and now the Jewish vote as well? So who besiides the NRA, FoxNews fans and White males over the age of 52 support Mitt Romney? Yet they claim the polls are tied or close, eeven with Mitt leading in some.. Something is rotten in the cotton!

    July 27, 2012 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. g

    they have all ready seen the mess created by one republican president ,better to go with the21st century president,a president that takes time to solve problems,not rush and create more problems

    July 27, 2012 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  6. 2020

    Sensible well deserved support to President Obama.

    July 27, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  7. montani42

    I will never understand the American Jewish people. Republicans and Christians in the USA have always solidly backed Israel, yet Carter and Obama, along with many Democrats have worked against the Jewish people almost constantly. For Jews to prefer Obama to Romney is like chickens preferring a fox to the one that feeds them.

    July 27, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  8. tangledthorns

    Majority of my fellow American Jews live in very blue areas of America. I do wonder if they know know the capital of Israel.

    July 27, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. 333maxwell

    Thank God.. literally..

    Barack Obama ~ 2012

    July 27, 2012 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  10. Ge

    What a joke...

    July 27, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. montani42

    I cannot understand the American Jewish people. The Republicans and American Christians have always stood with Israel and supported the country strongly. Many Democrats, like Carter and Obama, have always favored the enemies of Israel, yet American Jews seem to vote for them. It is like the chickens favoring a fox over the person that feeds them. Obama not only favors the Palestinians over the Jews, one of his friends was a fund raiser for Hamas.

    July 27, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  12. america comeback

    Liberal LIARS. Keep it up. Nobody believes you anymore.

    July 27, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  13. Mo Adimus

    So what is this supposed to mean? I ran a poll that says that Jewish Americans disapprove of Obamas's pot smoking in Hgh School, never having a real job, and being raised by a Communist – leaning father.

    July 27, 2012 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  14. rererooks

    President Obama is always a step ahead of Willard.

    July 27, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  15. What?

    Just plain weird.
    Either they are clueless or those polled are over 18 and under 19. I guess that might still make them clueless!

    July 27, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  16. LISA.GOLD

    An education for the the NON-JEWS of AMERICA there are 2 different USA Jews: There are Ashkenazi Jews (Russian / Eastern European) that are 90% of the US population they were raised/indoctrinated on Marxist/Lenin/Communist education and most (amazingly)want to Vote for a President who is Son of Islam and has deep hatred for Jews/Israel with his pal Bill Ayres(CodePink Leader)- Then there are Sephardic Jews 10% of the US population that are from everywhere else on the Planet and they can not believe till this day that the Dem voters chose BO over Clintons in 08 – If the Sephardic US Jews were polled they would be 100% for ROMNEY

    July 27, 2012 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  17. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Mittens for 'Panderer and Chief'!

    July 27, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  18. Thomas

    Most smart thinking people do support Obama .

    July 27, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  19. Chipster

    Conservatives keep trying to make it sound as if Israelis dislike President Obama when nothing could be further from the truth. Benjamin Netanyahu has said that President Obama is the best friend Israel has had in the past 70 years. Polls continue to indicate that a majority of Israelis admire the President. Regardless of how loud or how often O'Reilly, Hannity and Beck say it, it doesn't make it so. Nice try, guys, but Israelis just aren't backing up your bogus claims.

    July 27, 2012 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  20. Mike in Texas

    Obama's policy with Israel is no different than what past President's was. His speech about 1968 territories was the same position as Bush 43. Romney is groveling at Israel's feet and pandering as usual. An as usual, Obama used the bully pulpit of the Presidency to sign an agreement with Israel a Cooperation Act.

    Say what you want about Obama but right now he is pulling Romney's strings in this campaign.

    July 27, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  21. Mike in Texas

    Jewish voters tend to be more socially liberal that is why they vote for Democrats. They are more informed and more involved and are not going to be fooled by Romney.

    Romney is not running on his record at Bain? Why? Tax returns and when he left Bain
    Romney is not running on his record as governor. Why? His biggest accomplishment was his health care law with a mandate. Just like the ACA. Also he raised fees and penalties which are in essence taxes. They are revenue collected by the state.

    July 27, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  22. oh ooooo! Oooops!

    I guess it is time for a get out the Jewish vote plan from the Dems. 68% down from 78% in 2008?? Trouble. It now makes sense why this will be a close race. It will depend on Dems voter turn out....This year enthusiasm for repubs is 51% compared to only 39% for Dems down from 61% in 2008. That is doom for Obama. Romney will win only because people won't come out and vote. So, if Dems don't want the Bush domestic and foreign policy on steroids, they better plan to get people out to vote. Seriously!

    July 27, 2012 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  23. Bootstomper

    Romney announces he was born in Israel.

    July 27, 2012 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    Sarah Palin smarter than Mitt Romney Thanks to British news papers,
    Jewish Americans never deal with Palin category

    July 27, 2012 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  25. gt

    so do blacks...

    July 27, 2012 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
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