Pew: Gap narrowing in party support among Jewish voters

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A Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life slideshow highlighting trends in party support among religious groups in 2008 and 2012 shows a narrowing gap among Jewish voters’ party support, historically a solid Democratic voting bloc.

The Pew graph, released Monday, shows support for the Democratic Party among Jewish voters declining from 72 percent in 2008 to 66 percent in 2012 and support for the Republican Party increasing from 20 percent in 2008 to 28 percent in 2012.

The shift represents a narrowing in the gap, from 52 percentage points in 2008 to 38 percent in 2012.

“Jewish voters, who comprise about 2% of registered voters, also have been strong supporters of the Democratic Party,” Pew explains. “However, the size of the Democratic Party advantage has diminished from 52 points in 2008 to 38 points today.”

In 2008 Barack Obama received 77 percent of the Jewish vote. In 2004 Democrat John Kerry received 74 percent, and in 2000 Democrat Al Gore received 79 percent.

Of the overall breakdown in religious support for the Republican Party, Pew reports that “[w]hite (non-Hispanic) evangelical Protestants comprise about a third (34%) of all Republican or Republican-leaning voters. One-in-five are white (non-Hispanic) mainline Protestants, 18% are white (non-Hispanic) Catholics, and 11% are religiously unaffiliated. Thirteen percent belong to other groups, including 3% who are Mormons and 1% who are Jewish.”

Pew added that Democratic voters “are religiously diverse: 16% are black (non-Hispanic) Protestants, 14% are white (non-Hispanic) mainline Protestants, 9% are white (non-Hispanic) evangelical Protestants, 13% are white (non-Hispanic) Catholics, 5% are Hispanic Catholics, and a quarter (24%) are religiously unaffiliated. Eighteen percent belong to other groups, including 3% who are Jewish and 1% who are Mormon.”

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