Poll: Sanders Closes in on Clinton in N.Y., but Misses Jewish Vote

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Senator Bernie Sanders gestures during a campaign rally in New York, April 8, 2016.
Senator Bernie Sanders gestures during a campaign rally in New York, April 8, 2016.Credit: Reuters

This article was originally published on Jewish Insider.

Bernie Sanders has narrowed the lead against Hillary Clinton in the April 19 New York presidential primary, a new poll showed on Wednesday.

According to the Siena Research poll, Clinton leads Sanders 52-42 percent, down from a 55-34 lead in March. However, Sanders trails Clinton by 22 points among Jewish Democratic voters (60-38).

Jewish voters made up 19 percent of the electorate in the New York City Democratic mayoral primary in September 2013.

The poll showed Clinton with a whopping 80/19 favorable/unfavorable rating among Jewish voters in New York. Sanders also scored a 60/26 favorable/unfavorable rating.

In the February poll, the Brooklyn-born Jewish senator trailed Clinton by only 8 points (41-33) among Jewish voters. 20 percent had no opinion. Sanders had a 44/36 favorable/unfavorable ratings, while Clinton had a 16-point negative rating (37/53 favorable/unfavorable).

A Fox news poll published on Sunday showed Clinton leading Sanders by 24 points among Jewish voters (59-35 percent), while a Quinnipiac poll published on Tuesday showed Clinton leading Sanders 49-40 percent.

Sanders didn’t help himself with the Jewish community in New York when he doubled down on his criticism of Israel’s 2014 military action in Gaza this week.

“Was Israel’s response disproportionate? I think it was,” Sanders said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “Israel has a 100% — and no one will fight for that principle more strongly than I will — has the right to live in freedom, independently, and in security without having to be subjected to terrorist attacks. But I think that we will not succeed to ever bring peace into that region unless we also treat the Palestinians with dignity and respect, and that is my view.”

Sanders was condemned by Jewish groups and Democratic elected officials alike.

In the 2008 New York primary, Clinton beat Barack Obama by a 65-33 percentage point margin, according to a New York Times exit poll.

The Siena Research poll also showed Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump as the most unpopular candidate among Jewish voters. Only 9 percent of registered Jewish Democrats see Trump as favorable, while 90 percent see him as unfavorable.

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