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

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

    Obama all the way every thime

    July 27, 2012 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  2. Sheriff JOE

    They must not know much about b. o. and his merry men. b. o. loves la raza, he appointed la raza vice president cecilia munoz to be secretary of domestic policy, hilda la raza solis to be secretary of labor, "thomas" la raza perez to be assistant attorney general. b. o. appointed 44 la raza mexicans to key positions to shape federal policy agaginst americans and further break trail for the invasion. this guy is bad bad news

    July 27, 2012 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  3. Alvin

    I guess another way to look at this would be to say that Obama is polling ten percentage points less than he what he ended up with against McCain. Now, maybe that's not a huge story because he has dropped in all demographics but it seems the Jewish drop is particularly large.

    July 27, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  4. charles

    Romney is sad. The GOP looks bad. And here I am visiting the USA and everyone I talk to says their business is doing better than ever before but when things are not goin well the GOP blames Obama. And when it's going really well the GOP governor takes credit. Give your flippin head a shake. Now Romney is off making a fool of himself again. Obama will bide his time and cruise to victory. That's reality.

    July 28, 2012 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  5. george of the jungle

    no mitt the twit would rather go to england and critcizie them. Mitt the twitt mitt the twitt. Brits have such a way with words. Forward 2012

    July 28, 2012 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  6. packerfans

    Hey Jewish you support Obama who support same marriage??? God does not support Obama way. Jewish dont Vote Obama on November!! Obama does not follow federal Laws and he is cliam King above President Uniited States. Obama should quit job !!! He is not serve second terms. Vote only Mitt Romney who can save America and Isreal and World. God gave America Freedom promise land. Jewish people you are blinds support Obama and biggest mistaken in justice in heaven. Of course Church and States is seperate!! We do not want other babylon America by Obama!!!

    July 28, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  7. AgeofInsanity

    Why would Jews support a Mormon?

    July 28, 2012 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  8. Prariedoc

    It's just sad that political hopefuls like Romney think that going overseas and meeting with a few foreign leaders for a few minutes qualifies him in the area of international relations and politics. What a fraud! On top of that, he publicly criticizes our long standing ally, Great Briton, for their preparations for the Olympics. "Mitt the twit" does fit this gaff machine and the Brits have a tendency to call it as it is and as they see it. They know a phony when they see one.

    July 28, 2012 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  9. California

    Personally I don't believe it. This sounds like a propaganda piece. If it's true then jewish people are quite stupid after all Obama has done agaisnt Israel and jewish people.

    July 28, 2012 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  10. Bob

    You gotta be kidding me. The most jewish hating president since Carter.

    July 28, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  11. Gurgyl

    Mitt is an idiot, I mean plain idiot.

    July 28, 2012 03:39 am at 3:39 am |
  12. Zechariah14 third mishkan

    Former governor mitt Romney is going to Jerusalem isreal to listen and learn about
    what! Read the NEVI'IM I KINGS chapter 8-41-43 NEVI'IM ZECHARIAH 8-22-23 read it learn the true Jewish roots of for true believer's in The G-d Of Abraham Isaac Yacob The G-d Of YIsreal

    July 28, 2012 06:21 am at 6:21 am |
  13. Marie MD

    Is this a surprise? I can't find one, even die hard rethugs, who like this bully bishop. He has the 1% and the backwoods rednecks who vote against themselves all the time.

    July 28, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  14. GI Joe

    Romney is toast. He may as well give up and send his Communist Chinese Money to the foreign banks to hide for him.

    July 28, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  15. ron

    You think? Which of these men is more likely to lead Israel into war? And, which is more likely to speak with sense and truthfulness? Surely, those who talk war all the time must know that it will come at a very high price for all concerned. Israel is where this country is headed if we continue down this road of "us vs them". It's just a matter of time.

    July 28, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  16. Tax Free Riders, PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE

    There are a lot of Jews that are anti-Israel which is why they support Obama. No pro-Israel Jew would ever support Obama. He considers them oppressors and invaders. He's more interested in social justice for the Palestinians than in the survival of Israel.

    July 28, 2012 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Larry L

    Jewish Americans are a better educated crowd than the NASCAR Bubbas supporting Romney in the red states. His flip-flopping every issue and shameful pandering to them regarding Israel doesn't fool them a minute. When he shows the tax returns he's hiding they'll see his complete lack of ethics and be thankful they didn't vote for another "Dubya".

    July 28, 2012 09:44 am at 9:44 am |
  18. hal

    I don't know why....he has been extremely rude to Israel and Jewish Americans.

    July 28, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  19. Mike

    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."

    Hey former Gov. Romney, it's not Obama, it's President Obama. Have a little freakin' respect for the office that you intend to run for. You're not talking about your buddy in a backyard BBQ. When referring to the President of the United States, you can use the prefix President, or refer to him as Mr. President...not just his last name, like he's some chump running for a local precinct. Maybe someone in your GOP circle of friends can teach you how to properly address heads of state. If you become President, you are afforded the same respect. So return it in kind.

    Also, sometimes you have to criticize your allies in public for things your country doesn't agree with. It may not be just for applause, it may be for reasons that are on a need to know basis, and right now you don't need to know.

    So it seems to me, former Gov. Romney has an awful lot to learn about politics in the big leagues. And he needs to learn some respect for the office he intends to occupy.

    July 28, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
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