Seventy percent of American Jewry plans on voting for Democratic challenger Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential elections, the latest Pew Research Center poll has found.
The Democratic party has been ‘home’ for most American Jews for decades, as they define themselves as liberals and identify with the economic and social values that the Democrats espouse. This has not changed despite President Donald Trump’s uncompromising support for Israel during his term in office.
The more religious Jews, who usually put more of an emphasis on the importance of backing Israel as well as having conservative religious values, have gradually moved into the Republican camp. In this they are similar to white evangelical Christians, who the poll found to be pro-Trump by a large margin – 78%.
Other white religious Christians also favor Trump, although by much smaller majorities, with just over half of mainstream Protestants and Catholics saying they would vote for the incumbent.
However, an overwhelming majority in other religious groups said they would vote for Biden. Black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics led the way, with 90% and 67% support respectively, as well as unaffiliated respondents (83%).
The survey was conducted days after the first presidential debate on September 29.
Jews living on the other side of the ocean reflect a view opposite to that of their American brethren.
Although very few Israelis can vote in the American elections, an October 6 poll published by i24News Monday showed 63% of Israeli Jews favor Trump, and only 18.8% prefer Biden. The unprecedented support that Israel has received from the Trump administration factored heavily in their opinions.
When asked what they thought of American Jewry’s overwhelming preference for the Democratic party, nearly half (48.2%) thought it “wrong,” while 35.5% thought it was “right.” Another 16.3% did not know.
Just over half the respondents (50.9%) also believed that if the former vice president wins, it will hurt the ties between the countries because Trump has a special relationship with the Jewish state that Biden will not match. Another 43.5% said that ties do not depend on who leads either country, because the U.S. is a ‘true friend’ to Israel.
Although making up only two percent of the American electorate, the Jewish vote is assiduously courted by both major parties. One reason is that ‘swing’ states such as Florida have large Jewish communities.
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