American Jews, 78% of whom voted to make Barack Obama president are continuing to move away from Obama and his policies. According to a survey conducted by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) , 51% of Jews approve of the way Obama is doing his job. While that number may seem high keep in mind that the AJC poll conducted in March 2010, showed the president with a 58% approval.

As expected, there is an uncomfortableness with Obama based on his Middle East Policies (although they still support his efforts), but surprisingly, many of the President’s economics policies are not popular with the Jewish community.

Approve of the way Obama is handling:

  • The Economy 45% approve (51% disapprove)
  • Health Care 51% approve (46% disapprove)
  • Homeland Security 62% approve (33% disapprove)
  • Gulf oil spill  53% approve (42% disapprove)
  • The Iran nuclear issue 43% approve (46% disapprove)

Also surprising is the fact that American Jews support the controversial Arizona law to curb illegal immigration: 

  • A new law in Arizona gives police the power to ask people they’ve stopped to verify their residency status. Supporters say this will help crack down on illegal immigration. Opponents say it could violate civil rights and lead to racial profiling. On balance, do you support or oppose this law? Support 52% Oppose 46%
  • Do you approve or disapprove of the Obama Administration’s handling of U.S. -Israel relations? The last poll conducted in March reported a 55% approval, that number today has slipped to 49%. During that same period support of the way Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is handling US-Israel relations has grown from 57% to 62%.                   
  • Not that Jews are ready to leap into the laps of the GOP, when asked if they think the country would be better off if the Republicans controlled Congress, or if the Democrats controlled Congress? Republican 33%, Democrat 57%
  • The Most Important Issues to the Jewish Community are the same as those of the general population the economy. Healtcare comes up a bit higher than the general population which reflects the strong Democratic Party affiliation of Jews.  Thinking ahead to the November 2010 congressional elections, how important will each of the following issues be to your vote?: Very important, somewhat important, or not important (only very important % are shown below).
    Iran is a major issue in the Jewish community given the Iranian President’s anti-Semitic and threat of genocide.
    • There is a general agreement that the combination of diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons?  72% said there was little or no chance of it succeeding.   
    • 59% of respondents answered that they would support the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons? 70% said they would support Israel taking military action.
    • There also doesn’t seem much confidence in the President’s handling of Iraq and Iran. 64 percent say the U.S. is losing the war in Afghanistan, while 25 percent disagree, and 47 percent say it is losing the war in Iraq, while 41 percent disagree.

    This poll is interesting mostly because of the trends and the possible snapshot of the Jewish pulse. This AJC survey was conducted by Synovate, 800 respondents were interviewed by telephone between August 31 and October 5, 2010. This is the political breakdown of the respondents, Republican 17%, Democrats 48%, Independents 34% and Not sure 1% . It would be interesting to see those numbers confirmed by a second source.
    Putting it all together, we see that American Jews are growing more uncomfortable every day with President Obama and his policies. He was elected to fix the economy and Jewish Americans feel that he is not doing a good job. They also disapprove of two of his major foreign policy initiatives, Iranian Nukes and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Unless the President’s policies meet with some success (and there is still lots of time for that to happen), Barack Obama may be the first Democrat since Jimmy Carter’s re-election bid not to gain a majority of the Jewish vote.

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