In 2008 when Barack Obama was elected president 71% of Jewish Americans identified themselves as Democrats that number has slipped to 61% according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday evening. During the same period the percentage of Jews who identify as Republicans has grown from 22% to 29%.
On first glance the numbers may seem insignificant because the GOP share of the Jewish vote remains small especially when one considers according to Gallup. But the same report indicates Jews are moving toward the GOP much faster than the general population.
Per Gallup, in January 2008 39% of all Americans identified as Republican, their July 2014 report (the last time they published numbers for the general population) 40% of all Americans identified as Republicans; a growth of 1% vs the 7% for American Jews.
Gallup did not ask policy questions, but another part of Tuesday’s study may provide some insight into the policy driving Jews to the GOP. According to the study the more “religious” the Jew, the more likely they are to be Republican. This is most probably driven by President Obama’s Anti-Israel policies.
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The more “religious” the Jew the more likely they are to support Israel. An October 2013 poll conducted by Pew Research reported that 91% of Orthodox Jews feel strongly or somewhat attached to Israel, with Conservative Jews that number is 88%, Reform Judaism which is the biggest of the three main segments has the lowest attachment at 70%, and unaffiliated Jews which is almost the same size as Reform the number drops to 49%.
Therefore if the more religious Jews tend to be most Republican and also tend to have the strongest attachment to Israel, it is reasonable to assume that President Obama’s Anti-Israel policies are creating more Jewish Republicans.
And the Jewish trend to the GOP is likely to continue
According to Pew, Israel supporters have more of a home in the GOP, or to look at it another way, perhaps the President’s policy is indicative of the entire Democratic Party especially when you realize that at least in 2014 Pew Reports that the more liberal one is the less likely they are to support Israel.
When you put on top of the Israel issue the failure of liberal policies in America, the number of Jews identifying as Republicans will accelerate especially amongst the same observant Jews who have already begun to switch. They are more likely to believe in personal responsibility and not as closely tied to progressiveness than their less observant brethren.