On behalf of The Israel Project, Olive Tree Strategies is pleased to present the key findings from a national survey of 1,034 Jewish Americans, conducted July 21-26, 2015. The survey was conducted using online interviews.
The data were weighted to approximate a national sample of Jewish Americans based on the Pew Religious Landscape study for gender and age, and past voting behavior based on the 2012 vote for President Obama. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.0% at a 95% level of confidence.
The American Jewish community generally leans to the Democrats, and broadly approves of the job President Obama is doing (57% Approve / 41% Disapprove). In 2012, 69% of American Jewish voters supported the President’s re-election. And, the President receives broadly positive marks on Health Care, the Economy, Climate Change, Race Relations, and International Trade. But, when it comes to security issues…
1. A majority of American Jews disapprove of the job President Obama has done handling the nuclear negotiations with Iran. Across eight different topic areas, as well as an overall rating on his presidency, the only one with a majority disapproval is Iran negotiations with 52%.
2. By a narrow margin, a plurality of Jews want Congress to reject the deal. While 40% want Congress to approve the deal, 45% think that Congress should reject the deal. This question was asked without presenting any new context, based only on the knowledge that respondents already possessed.
3. When presented with a two-sided/balanced discussion of the merits and drawbacks of the deal, a majority of Jews want Congress to reject. When presenting the White House arguments (taken from whitehouse.gov), and the arguments of some opponents, the balance shifts against the deal with American Jews, 51% now reject.
4. Digging into specific concerns eradicates remaining support for deal. After being presented with ten concerns about the deal with Iran, the American Jewish community overwhelmingly opposes having Congress support the deal. With this information, only 30% still support approving the deal, while 58% want Congress to reject the deal and NOT lift sanctions on Iran.
Bottom Line: When diverse opinions join in the conversation about the Iran deal, the Jewish community quickly moves against (and wasn’t exactly approving of the deal to begin with). Any conversation on the issue, even one including the pro-deal aspect of the conversation, drives opposition higher with this community.
As the conversation about Congress’ role with regard to the deal continues to take center stage, there is little question that opposition to the agreement will rise.