Poll: Obama’s approval with Jews still in line with general public’s

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Despite predictions that Democrats’ upset loss in a heavily Jewish district of New York earlier this week forecasted a shift by Jewish Americans toward the GOP, a Gallup poll released Friday found that while President Obama’s approval among Jews has slowly declined, it has not done so in dramatic fashion.

Approval for Obama’s job performance among Jews from August 1 through September 15 is 54 percent, compared with a 41 percent national approval rating overall. In May, Obama’s approval rating among Jews was at 68 percent. (RELATED: Obama imitates Truman’s re-election campaign)

But Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport points out that the views of the Jewish population have largely mirrored the views of the population as a whole. The 13-point difference found in this poll is standard: Over the course of Obama’s presidency, the average disparity between his approval rating with Jews and his approval rating with the general public is 14 percent, with Jewish voters tending to approve more highly of the president than the public as a whole.

In August, Obama saw the lowest monthly approval rating of his presidency — 41 percent among the general public. However, this is not the first time Obama’s approval rating among Jews has slipped to this level: In July 2010, just 55 percent of Jews polled approved of his job performance.

The results are based on a survey of 514 Jewish Americans from August 1 through September 15, as part of Gallup’s polling for its daily tracking poll. The maximum margin of error is plus or minus 6 percentage points.

Newport notes that the smaller sample sizes lead to larger fluctuations in Obama’s approval rating among Jews than in his approval rating among the general public.