By Justin Sink
President Obama's support has dropped by double digits among Jewish voters from 2008, but he still earns more than double the support of challenger Mitt Romney among American Jews, according to a new survey from Gallup.
The president is the choice of 64 percent of Jewish registered voters, versus 29 percent for Romney. But that equates to a 10-point drop for Obama among Jewish voters from November 2008, and a six-point pick up for Republicans. And while some of that can be explained by Obama's slipping numbers across all demographics, the rate at which Jewish voters are defecting from the Obama campaign — and signaling support for Romney — exceeds national averages.
Romney has made a major play for Jewish voters this cycle, criticizing the president's stance on Israel and playing up his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The men have known each other for nearly four decades, when they both worked at a Boston-area consulting firm together.
Still, Obama carries a 35-point lead among Jewish voters who could play an important role in November's contest. Since April, 83 percent of Jewish voters surveyed by Gallup say they definitely will vote, exceeding the national average of 78 percent among all registered voters.
That enthusiasm is greater than that of Mormon voters, only 77 percent of whom said they would definitely vote in the fall. But Mitt Romney, himself a Mormon, holds a commanding lead among those of the faith. Some 84 percent of Mormon voters said they would support Romney in the fall, versus just 13 percent for Obama. While Mormons are already mostly conservative — three quarters of Mormons voted for John McCain in 2008 — that still demonstrates a significant bump in favor of Romney.
"Romney's current 84 percent share of the Mormon vote is thus nine points better than McCain's, and five points better than the average shift from McCain to Romney among all registered voters," Jones said.
Roughly two percent of Americans identify their religious faith as Mormon, and another two percent claim to be Jewish.