Despite a flurry of signs the Obama administration may be having difficulty maintaining its support from Jewish donors after his ’67 borders speech, a new Gallup poll out today found that 60 percent of Jewish Americans approve of Obama’s job performance — a percentage “statistically unchanged” from the 64 percent which approved of him in April. In addition, 32 percent of Jewish Americans disapproved of the president’s performance, which also conforms closely to his previous disapproval ratings this year.
According to Gallup, these numbers conflict with Ben Smith’s recent Politico article, which reported that politically-involved Jewish Democrats were growing uneasy with Obama’s positions on Israel:
The absence of a significant retreat in Jewish Americans’ approval of Obama since his Mideast policy speech contrasts with a recent commentary by Ben Smith for Politico, titled “Obama May Be Losing the Faith of Jewish Democrats,” in which he suggests a “tipping point” may have been reached with Jews who have long harbored concerns about the president’s support of Israel. That conclusion, based on Smith’s conversations with “center-left American Jews and Obama supporters — and many of them Democratic donors–may apply to certain politically active members of the Jewish-American community, but according to recent Gallup trends, is not reflective of the views of Jewish Americans more generally.
While the overall numbers don’t show a notable drop in Jewish support for Obama after his Middle East speech, they do reveal some worrying signs for the president. A Gallup poll conducted 100 days after Obama took office found that 79 percent of Jewish Americans approved of the job he was doing — closely aligning with the 78 percent who voted for him in the 2008 election. That 20-point gap could be a problem for Obama, especially in states like Florida.
What Gallup’s poll is unable to give us is a glimpse into the mindset of the politically-active Jewish Democrats and donors who Smith reported on in his article. It wouldn’t be statistically apparent if these individuals were losing faith in Obama, but it would impact the president’s reelection campaign in other ways.