Poll: Two in three US Jews want Obama reelected

Exit polling from 2008 suggested that almost 80 percent of Jewish voters sided with Obama over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

In 2012, 70 percent of Jews said they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared to 30 percent who said the same about the GOP.

A similar trend applies to down-ballot races and politicians, said Jones, who noted that concerns about Israel barely entered the equation.

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Even though respondents expressed concerns about relations with the Jewish state — 37 percent said Israel-U.S. relations have gotten worse — very few indicated those concerns would affect their choices in the ballot box. Just over half of Jews said the economy was the most important issue, compared to 4 percent who said Israel was most significant.

Fifty-three percent said they supported the creation of a Palestinian state.

Of the one-third of American Jews who said they don't want to see Obama win a second term, most chose Mitt Romney as their top choice.

Jews in the United States hold higher views of Mormons than they do of Muslims, but it's the Christian right that concerns the community the most, the survey showed. Asked to rate various faith groups on a 100-point scale, Jews gave Mormons a rating of 47, compared to 41 for Muslims. The Christian right came in at just 21.

"There's a long history there," said Jones, citing a clash of cultures on issues related to abortion, same-sex marriage and social issues, where the survey showed that, by and large, Jews remain mostly liberal.

A remarkable 93 percent of Jews said they support legalized abortion, with about half supporting it in all cases and half supporting it in some cases. Eight out of 10 said they support gay marriage.

Asked how well Jewish political figures represented Jewish values, respondents rated Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) better than House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Less than 40 percent said Cantor represented Jewish values well or somewhat well, compared to 35 percent who said he did not represent them well at all.

Bill Clinton is viewed more highly among American Jews than Obama, but the president scores better than Romney, who in turn scores better than former President George W. Bush, the survey found.

The survey of 1,004 self-identified Jewish adults was conducted Feb. 23-March 5 and had a margin of error of 5.0 percentage points.