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Majority of American Jews approve Joe Biden

American Jewish Committee, Biden, AJC, Orthodox, Jews

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Majority of American Jews approve Joe Biden

More than four months after President Biden’s inauguration, majorities of American Jews give him high marks for his performance as president, and his handling of U.S-Israel relations and the threat of antisemitism, according to a new national survey by the nonpartisan American Jewish Committee (AJC).

As with previous AJC surveys of U.S. Jews, there are clear divisions of opinion between self-identified Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews.

The questions on U.S. political issues, U.S-Israel relations, and the peace process are part of a larger survey that will be released later this month.

In the 2020 elections, 68% of the Jewish electorate report they voted for Biden, 21% for Trump, 4% for another candidate, and 5% did not vote. According to the new AJC survey, 12% of Orthodox, 61% of Conservative, 80% of Reform, 99% of Reconstructionist, 86% of Secular, and 71% of non-specified denomination voted for Biden. Distinctions between Orthodox and non-Orthodox views of how President Biden is handling a number of issues are consistent.

70 percent of American Jews approve and 26% disapprove of the job President Biden is doing as president. He has approval from 19% of Orthodox, 65% of Conservative, 80% of Reform, 99% of Reconstructionist, 85% of Secular, and 72% of those who have no specified denomination.

On President Biden’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations, 58% approve and 27% disapprove. One in five (19%) strongly approve, 39% somewhat approve, 11% disapprove somewhat, and 16% disapprove strongly. Another 15% had no opinion. By denomination, those who approve are 21% of Orthodox, 47% of Conservative, 68% of Reform, 95% of Reconstructionist, 68% of secular, and 59% of no specified denomination.

On the threat of antisemitism, 64% approve and 23% disapprove of the president’s handling of this issue. Only 35% of Orthodox approve, in contrast to 53% of Conservative, 70% of Reform, 96% of Reconstructionist, 74% of Secular, and 70% of no specified denominations.

The president received majority approvals on a range of other issues:

–The Economy – 71% approve and 27% disapprove.

— The Iranian Nuclear Issue – 55% approve and 32% disapprove.

— Immigration – 54% approve and 42% disapprove.

— Race Relations – 68% approve and 28% disapprove.

— The COVID-19 Pandemic – 79% approve and 19% disapprove.

Three-quarters of American Jews describe the current U.S.-Israel relationship as very strong (20%) or fairly strong (56%), while one in five say it is fairly weak (16%) or very weak (4%). There is unanimity across all denominations about the strength of bilateral relations – 70% of Orthodox, 74% of Conservative, 84% of Reform, 91% of Reconstructionist, 77% of Secular, and 73% of no specified denomination.

On Israel’s relationships with other countries in the region, one-third (33%) say they feel more optimistic than they were one year ago about peace between Israel and individual Arab countries. One in five (20%) say they are less optimistic about peace, while 46% say there has not been much change.

When asked about their optimism regarding peace between Israel and the Palestinians, 60% say there has not been much change in their feelings compared to one year ago, 25% state they are less optimistic and 14% are more optimistic. Results in AJC’s 2020 survey were similar – 55% said their views have not changed much about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, while 28% said less optimistic, and 16% more optimistic compared to one year ago.

The AJC survey, conducted by the research company SSRS, is based on telephone interviews carried out March 25 – May 9, 2021, with a national sample of 1,000 respondents aged 18 or older. The margin of error for total sample is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

AJC has been conducting annual surveys of American Jewish attitudes for many years.

Contents published under this byline are those created by the news team of WeeklyBlitz

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