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Poll: Jewish voters are highly motivated and worried about American democracy

(RNS) A national survey by the Jewish Electorate Institute finds that Jewish voters are highly motivated to visit the polls in November, with concerns on the future of democracy and abortion because the top issues driving their choices.

Commensurate with decades-long patterns, the poll, predicated on online interviews with 800 Jewish registered voters conducted Aug. 25 to Sept. 1 by GBAO Strategies, demonstrates Jewish voters lean overwhelmingly toward the Democratic Party. The poll found 70% of Jewish voters said they planned to vote for Democratic candidates and 24% intend to vote for Republican candidates. (Five percent were undecided.)

The Jewish Electorate Institute describes itself as independent and nonpartisan.

Disapproval of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson Womens Health Organization, which overturned the proper to abortion, was resounding: 82% of Jewish registered voters disapproved, and 56% said your choice increases their motivation to vote.

Jim Gerstein, founding partner of GBAO Strategies, said Democrats have increased their strength among Jewish voters by 10% since its last poll in April, largely driven by the abortion issue. (The court issued the ruling in June.)

Abortion has completely transformed the 2022 midterm elections, he said in a press briefing. The Jewish vote isn’t immune compared to that.

Roe v. Wade Graphic thanks to the Jewish Electorate Institute

RELATED: Blowing shofars, Jewish lawmakers, rabbis hold abortion rights sho-test

American Jews have grown to be especially vocal on abortion. On Wednesday (Sept. 14), activists, rabbis and members of Congress stood beyond your U.S. Capitol and blew the shofar or rams horn to proclaim their support for abortion rights. On Tuesday, Jewish abortion rights activists met with second gentleman Douglas Emhoff, who’s Jewish, to argue that various state-level abortion bans violate the religious freedom of several U.S. Jews.

Judaism broadly teaches that abortion isn’t just permitted, but sometimes required once the life of the pregnant person reaches risk.

But while abortion is really a driving issue, especially among younger Jews, the threat to democracy were a straight larger impetus to vote. The poll found 74% of Jewish voters watched the Jan. 6 committee hearings on TV, with 39% saying they watched them very closely. The hearings motivated 57% of these to vote, the poll said.

The threat to democracy had not been as big a concern among voters of most faiths and none, in accordance with an NBC News poll from August, which showed only 29% of registered voters calling threats to democracy the most crucial issue facing the country.

The Jan. 6 issue is driving Jewish voters a lot more so compared to the general population, Gersteinagreed.

Issue Priorities Graphic thanks to the Jewish Electorate Institute

Not surprisingly, 79% of Jews had an unfavorable opinion of former President Donald Trump, with 19% approving of him.

Aslong as you see these degrees of unfavorability among Jewish voters toward the Republican Party and its own leadership, Gerstein said, they’re not likely to make inroads with the Jewish vote. To ensure that that to improve, there would have to be significant changes in the Republican Partys positions, brand and image.

In other findings, the poll showed near-unanimous support for gun safety precautions, with 96% of Jewish voters supporting comprehensive criminal background checks for gun purchases and 91% supporting raising the minimum age to get a gun from 18 to 21.

In addition, it showed that 92% of Jewish voters are worried about antisemitism and by way of a 50%-20% margin, they trust Democrats a lot more than Republicans to fight it.

Some 68% of Jewish voters also favor reentering the Iran nuclear deal.

The surveys margin of error rate was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

RELATED: Second gentleman meets with Jewish abortion rights activists at White House

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