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Poll shows most Jewish voters backed Democrats, animated by democracy and abortion concerns

A poll of Jewish voters showed them overwhelmingly listing abortion rights and risks to democracy as their top issues when they voted in midterm elections.

The poll commissioned by J Street and another exit poll conducted on behalf of Fox News Channel and the Associated Press also showed substantial majorities of Jews voting Democratic, although they differed on how big the majorities were. That is commensurate with Jewish voting in the past, which favors Democrats two-to-one generally.

The J Street poll showed 74% of respondents voting Democratic and 25% Republican, while the Fox/AP poll showed a 65%-33% split.

The J Street poll, conducted by GBAO, a consultancy that works mostly with liberal and Democratic groups, asked Jewish voters what their top two issues were when considering their vote.

The response was much more in line with the issues Democrats emphasized, the Supreme Court’s rollback of abortion rights this year and the perceived threat to democracy by the lies about the 2020 election peddled by former President Donald Trump and his allies, than those emphasized by Republicans, including crime and inflation.

Topping the list was “the state of democracy,” which 55% of respondents included in their top two issues, and abortion, which was named by 40%. Inflation scored 27% and crime 16%.

Jim Gerstein, who ran the J Street poll at GBAO, attributed the difference between his poll and one the Fox/AP poll administered by NORC at the University of Chicago to the fact that his poll was aimed at Jewish voters specifically, and weighted to reflect the composition of the community among Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and unaffiliated Jews. The NORC poll, which included a sample of 2,107 Jewish voters, was drawn from a sample of about 100,000 voters overall and did not break down affiliations for its Jewish respondents.

The J Street poll interviewed 800 respondents and had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. A margin of error was not available for the Jewish respondents to the NORC poll.

Ron Kampeas

JTA D.C. bureau chief

JTA

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