As the Mad Voter Roger L. Simon contemplates whether or not Michael Oren’s new book will change the Jewish vote, the latest J Street poll shows that Obama’s latest attempts to “woo” the Jewish community have had zero impact. Despite a less-than-schmoozy synagogue visit and the interviews granted to the usual Jewish suspects, the president’s approval rating still hover in the mid-50s, pretty low among Jewish American voters.
Jim Gerstein, whose GBA Strategies conducted the poll, suggested that Obama and his supporters face an environment among Jews that has been shaped largely by the president’s critics.
“The balance of criticism against the president on issues related to Israel has far outweighed the statements of support for the president, certainly among the organizations that have the largest reach,” Gerstein told reporters on Wednesday.
…Still, the president’s critics in the right-wing pro-Israel community have found traction with a narrative built on real and perceived gaps in the relationship.
Some of the criticisms have been grounded in fact, including the Obama administration’s decision to keep details of the emerging Iran deal from Israel, in part because it believed that the Israelis were leaking the details to media.
Forty-three percent of the respondents in the J Street poll believe that Obama “unfairly undermines Israel’s interests and does not sufficiently support the Jewish state” and “has gone too far in his criticism of Prime Minister Netanyahu and his criticism sends the wrong message to Israel’s enemies.”
Obama has managed to fair better in the Jewish community, who rate him an average of 12 points higher than Americans at large. Yet, the Jewish American community feels “more warmly” towards Netanyahu than the American president.
While pro-Obama strategists get defensive about right-wing rhetoric, one thing is clear: As long as Obama continues down the anti-Israel path, he’s guaranteed to help the Democrats lose more Jewish ground in 2016. The question is, what do the Republicans intend to do about it?