WASHINGTON – Jewish American voters overwhelmingly supported the Democratic Party in the 2018 midterm elections, and a vast majority of them disapprove of Donald Trump’s conduct as president, according to a poll released on Wednesday by the left-wing Jewish group J Street.
The poll, conducted by veteran pollster Jim Gerstein, also shows a high level of support among American Jews for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The poll, which included interviews with 903 American Jews who voted in the midterms, shows 75 percent of them disapprove of “the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president.” Sixty-four percent of the respondents said they “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s conduct, and 74 percent said they believe the United States is currently “on the wrong track.”
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In the 2016 election, Trump received about 30 percent of the Jewish vote, compared to 70 percent who voted for his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. The new poll showed 73 percent of respondents saying they had a negative view of the Republican Party, and 71 percent identifying as Democrats. In addition, 51 percent of the respondents consider themselves “liberal” or “progressive”, compared to 13 percent who consider themselves “conservative.”
On issues related to Israel, the poll shows a strong level of support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they support that model, and 75 percent said they believe it is a “important national security interest” of the United States.
In order to achieve an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, 64 percent of the respondents said they support American diplomacy “even if it means publicly disagreeing with both the Israelis and Palestinians.” Sixty percent said they support American involvement in the conflict “even if it means exerting pressure on both the Israelis and Palestinians to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace.”
The poll also showed 84 percent of respondents saying that “someone can be ‘pro-Israel’ even if they criticize the Israeli government’s policies,” and that 71 percent of the respondents support the Iran nuclear deal, which both Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been highly critical of. The poll showed that “Iran placed dead last in Jewish voters’ list of priorities, with just one percent saying it was among the top two issues in determining their vote.”
Instead, the two most important issues to Jewish American voters in this election cycle were health care and gun violence, the poll showed. Only 4 percent ranked Israel as the top issue they vote on, behind education, the environment and immigration.
The poll also included a question about the recent deadly terror attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they considered Trump “very responsible” for the attack, while 33 percent said Trump was, in their eyes, “somewhat responsible.” Twenty-eight percent said they did not hold Trump responsible for the attack.