Poll suggests surge in Jewish support for GOP

By Ron Kampeas, JTA

WASHINGTON — A poll based on a small sample suggests that Jewish identification with Republicans has surged.

The Pew Research Center poll breaks down party support by religion. It shows that 33 percent of U.S. Jewish voters identify or lean toward Republicans this year, up from 20 percent in 2008 and 26 percent in 2006. The poll reports that Jews identifying or leaning toward Democrat are at 57 percent this year, down from 64 percent in 2008 and 62 percent in 2006.

The overall poll canvassed over 3,000 American voters; 2 percent of these, or about 60, identified as Jewish. Mainstream pollsters regard numbers below 250 respondents as unreliable.

The principal finding of the poll published this week and conducted in late July and early August showed a sharp decline in the percentage of Americans who regard President Obama, a regular church-goer, as Christian, from a high of 51 percent in October 2008 to 34 percent in the latest poll.