Poll: Clinton crushing Trump among Florida Jews

Ben Sales

Hillary Clinton speaking during her Super Tuesday evening gathering at Stage One at Ice Palace Studios in Miami, Florida, March 1, 2016. (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton speaking during her Super Tuesday evening gathering at Stage One at Ice Palace Studios in Miami, Florida, March 1, 2016. (Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (JTA) — The vast majority of Florida Jews will vote for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the presidential election, according to a new poll.

Orthodox Jews were the only Florida Jewish demographicb to support Trump.

The poll, conducted by GBA Strategies, found that Clinton is beating Trump by 43 points among Florida Jews, 66 percent to 23 percent. Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein earned six and two percent of the Florida Jewish vote, respectively.

Jews make up four to five percent of the overall Florida electorate. Clinton is leading Trump by a few points in Florida polls.

Clinton beat Trump in almost every Florida Jewish demographic. Reform, unaffiliated and Conservative Jews all favored Clinton, as did Jews of every age group. The only group to support Trump were Orthodox Jews, who favored him 66 to 22 percent against Clinton. Forty-two percent of Florida Jews identify as Reform, while 24 percent identify as Conservative, 19 percent as unaffiliated and six percent as Orthodox.

“The only problem Hillary Clinton has with Jewish voters is the same problem Barack Obama had with Jewish voters, and that is there are not more of them,” said Jim Gerstein, a founding partner of GBA Strategies, in a Friday conference call about the poll.

The poll was commissioned by the Schlep Labs PAC, which grew out of efforts to boost Jewish votes for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. The findings were released in Washington at a briefing conducted by Alex Soros, who chairs the liberal Jewish social action group Bend the Arc, its chief executive officer Stosh Cotler and Jeremy Ben Ami, head of J Street, the dovish Israel lobby.

Obama won the Florida Jewish vote 68 to 31 percent in 2012, according to a poll by

The poll, which was conducted from Aug. 4 to 8 among 500 likely Jewish voters with a 4.4 percent margin of error, also found that Israel is a low priority for Jewish voters. Only 8 percent of Jewish Florida voters said Israel was one of their top two election issues, compared to 35 percent who chose the economy, and 29 percent who indicated terrorism.

“Israel is not the defining issue for the American Jewish voter,” said J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami on the conference call. “The Jewish electorate is not going to be moved or swayed by hawkish, uncritical rhetoric related to Israel.”

The poll found that most Florida Jews supported last year’s agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of international sanctions. Fifty-one percent of Florida Jews support the deal, while 39 percent oppose it. In addition, only 2 percent said they were casting their vote in the November election based on policy toward Iran.

Jewish voters in Florida have drawn attention ever since the 2000 election, where a confusing ballot led a large number of voters in the heavily Jewish Palm Beach County to vote for Pat Buchanan, the Reform Party candidate often accused of anti-Semitism. George W. Bush carried the state by 537 votes, which won him the election. He won the state again in 2004.

In 2008, comedian Sarah Silverman led “The Great Schlep” initiative, which urged young Jews to travel to Florida to convince their grandparents to vote for Barack Obama. Obama carried the state in 2008 and 2012.

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