More than two-thirds — 69 percent — of Jewish voters in Florida say they will choose President Obama over Governor Romney, who will win 25 percent of the state’s Jewish vote, according to a new American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey.
Respondents self identified as follows: 16% REPUBLICAN, 25% INDEPENDENT, 57% DEMOCRAT, 1% OTHER and 1% DON’T KNOW/NO RESPONSE. Five percent of Jewish voters are undecided according to the AJC survey.
Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, was asked during a panel hosted by AIPAC in 2010 to make a prediction about the 2012 Presidential race. Fleischer predicted, “Repulicans will lose the Jewish vote by a margin of 3 to 1. If that happens Republicans will take the White House.”
This survey appears to be good news for Republicans in Florida, Republican US Senate candidate Connie Mack (who is Jewish) and Mitt Romney.
This is an 8% decline in support for President Obama. Obama won 76 percent of the Florida Jewish vote in 2008. Jews comprise about four percent of the voters in Florida, which is widely considered to be a key battleground state in the 2012 election.
“In a key state, to which both parties are devoting a great deal of time and attention, and where recent history is a reminder that the margin of victory can be razor-thin, the Jewish vote takes on added importance,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “This survey, the first of three on the Jewish political outlook in the build-up to November 6, will doubtless be of interest to all those following this year’s election.”
There are a number of oxymoronic replies in the survey.
Concerning the nuclear threat posed by Iran, 62 percent would support, and 27 percent oppose, U.S. military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail. However, 76 percent approve, and 22 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling national security. On U.S.-Israel relations, 72 percent view Prime Minister Netanyahu’s handling of the relationship favorably, while 21 percent see it unfavorably. For President Obama’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, 61 percent approve and 33 percent disapprove. On prospects for Arab-Israeli peace, 7 percent said the chances have increased compared to a year ago, 33 percent said they decreased, and 56 percent said they stayed the same.
The economy by all measures is in a recession with deepening concerns that America is headed over a fiscal cliff. Even so, 64 percent of Florida Jewish voters approve, and 33 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling the economy.
The American Jewish Committee is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit, non-partisan organization that neither endorses nor opposes candidates for elected office. AJC has commissioned surveys of American Jews for many years on a range of key questions as a contribution to better understanding of the American Jewish community.