Question: What percentage of American Jews voted for Trump versus Biden in the 2020 elections?
Answer: 77% of American Jews voted for Biden in 2020, and 23% went for Trump, according to a new poll by the GBAO Research and Jim Gerstein, a group that has studied Jewish voting patterns.
This result was in line with historic trends, but more Jews voted for Biden in 2020 than they did in 2016 for Hillary Clinton.
The survey looked at the voting behavior of Conservative, Reform, and Orthodox Jews, along 13 important issues (see below). The poll then broke these responses down further according to their religious Jewish level of observance (Orthodox, Reform, Conservative, Unaffiliated).
Overall, Biden got 97% of the vote from all Jews, while 79% of Orthodox Jews voted for Trump. About 10% of American Jews are Orthodox.
At the issue-level, the sample of 800 American Jews used in the poll considered these as the most important issues:
- COVID virus
- Climate change
- Health care
- The economy
- The Supreme Court
- Police reform and the pursuit of justice
- National security
In addition, the poll found Jews had very favorable opinions and feelings about Biden, Obama, and the Democratic Party. At the other extreme, the poll said the unfavorable opinions of Jews was expressed against Netanyahu, Trump, the Republican party, and Mitch McConnell. All of these were negative. The opinion of Trump is “uniquely bad” among American Jews, the poll found.
Unlike male voters with a high school education who largely support Trump, Jews with high school educations largely supported Biden.
Netanyahu’s Friendship With Trump Sinks His Popularity
The biggest drop in popularity was against Israels’ Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who Jews saw as being too close to Trump. This association sank Netanyahu’s reputation among American Jews, especially when he criticized Obama on the floor of the US House of Representatives and his involvement in US policy against Iran, the poll said.
There also is a hard-core group of Republican Jews, about 20% of the Jewish population, which is consistently Republican. This group does not seem to be growing. The largest supporters of Jews in the 2020 election that voted for Trump were the Orthodox and the Jewish Republicans.
In a related situation, it’s now evident that the unprecedented financial support of Trump by Sheldon Adelson and the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) may be a financial powerhouse, but as a voting group, they are insignificant. It looks like money can buy many things, but not popularity.
Adelson and the RJC are clearly out of step with 75% of American Jews, so it is pretty evident their main goal is to get personal economic benefits in the form of business subsidies and tax breaks for their businesses and estates.
Israel Is Not the Focal Point for American Jews, But Support is Overwhelming
As noted earlier, the issue of Israel ranked ninth in the concerns of American Jewish voters in the 2020 election, but this does not mean Jewish support of Israel is waning.
Most Jewish voters know it is Congress that votes to provide economic, financial, and security support for Israel, not the president alone. The false claim that “Trump was good for Israel and Biden was not” was a rallying call from Republicans, but it was false. It is AIPAC that lobbies Congress for Israel and they are supposedly bipartisan and have worked with all administrations since 1948 when Israel was founded.
However, at some recent national events, AIPAC has been exploited by some pro-Trump groups that have damaged its traditional bipartisan position. Given the poor ratings of Trump and Netanyahu in this 2020 poll, AIPAC should make sure it is not exploited by these same pro-Trump demonstrations in the future.