So Trump thinks Jews should vote for him, huh? That's what he has said on multiple occasions, including on August 20, 2019, when, as part of a comment about Israel, he smeared Jews with the old canard of dual loyalty: "I think any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty [to Israel]." Riiiiight. Because why wouldn't we love someone who proclaimed that there were "very fine people on both sides" of a rally where one of the sides consisted of neo-Nazis chanting "Jews will not replace us?" But hey, a creamsicle-colored guy can dream, right? Looks like that's one more of Trump's dreams—delusions? self-deceptions?—that will never come true.
An American Jewish Committee poll, described by the organization as "the most comprehensive Jewish organization poll of Jews in the United States," surveyed 1,334 people by telephone from Sept. 9 through Oct. 4. It found that 75 percent of respondents plan to vote for Joe Biden, compared to only 22 percent planning to vote for his opponent—you know, the one who brag-tweeted about being called the "King of Israel."
The AJC poll also asked about issues:
For American Jewish voters, the most important issue in deciding for whom to cast a ballot for president is the COVID-19 pandemic (26 percent), with others prioritizing health care (17 percent), the economy (13 percent), race relations (12 percent), crime (6 percent), foreign policy (5 percent), or another issue (20 percent).
The topline result in the AJC survey is even stronger for Biden than that of two other recent polls, although only by a few points. A Pew Research Center poll came in at 70 percent-27 percent in Biden's favor, and one done by Garin-Hart-Yang for the Jewish Electorate Institute found American Jews favoring the Democrat by a 67 percent-30 percent margin.
The AJC poll was the only one that separated Jewish voting preferences into categories, and they found that every denomination of Jews, along with "secular Jews," strongly favored Biden, with one exception. Orthodox Jews—who make up about 10 percent of the American Jewish population—support Trump 74 percent-18 percent. This is consistent with scholarly research; I highly recommend the recent article by my fellow historian Joshua Shanes, in which he detailed how Orthodox Jews in the U.S. have become "deeply connected with the Republican Party in general and now Donald Trump in particular." What happened in the streets of Brooklyn last week only further confirms this trend.
But outside of this one small group, Trump's outreach to American Jews has been an abject failure. Jewish voters have consistently been, after African Americans, the second most reliable ethno-cultural/religious group for Democrats. In 2016, exit polling done by J Street found Hillary Clinton defeated the Orange Julius Caesar among Jews, 70 percent-25 percent. J Street found that in the 2018 midterms, Jews preferred the Democratic candidate over the Republican by 76 percent-19 percent.
Nothing we've seen from the current occupant of the White House is going to change that in 2020.Ian Reifowitz is the author of The Tribalization of Politics: How Rush Limbaugh's Race-Baiting Rhetoric on the Obama Presidency Paved the Way for Trump (Foreword by Markos Moulitsas)
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