Poll: American Jewish support for Obama dropping

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Job approval ratings for President Obama have dropped among American Jews from 61 percent to 50 percent since the start of 2015, a new Gallup poll found.

The American Jews interviewed for the poll released this week gave Obama a 50 percent approval rating in March, dropping from 52 percent in February and 61 percent in January.

The poll results were based on interviews with 1,022 Americans who identified themselves as Jewish and conducted as part of daily tracking from January through the end of March. The Jewish segment of the survey has a margin of error of 4 percentage points.

For the first quarter of this year, 54 percent of American Jews liked the job Obama was doing as president, compared with an average of 46 percent among all Americans, the poll found. The 8 percent gap was the narrowest in nine months and lower than the average 13 percent gap through most of Obama’s time in office.

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Until now, Jewish support for Obama has dropped and risen at the same rate as all Americans since he took office in January 2009.

The 16 percent of Jews who report weekly religious service attendance gave Obama a much lower approval rating: 34 percent. Some 62 percent of American Jews with post-college graduate education approved of Obama’s performance, with 39 percent with only a high school degree or lower expressing approval.

Female American Jews approved of Obama’s job performance at a rate of 59 percent, compared to 48 percent for Jewish males.

Relations between the Israeli and U.S. administrations have been rocky for weeks, following a spat over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address last month to a joint meeting of Congress and Obama’s more upbraiding of Netanyahu for the prime minister’s campaign rhetoric about Arab voters and apparent lack of support for Palestinian statehood.