Despite fierce op-ed page debates over the Obama administration’s actions so far on Israel, Iran and the Middle East as a whole, American Jews are unwavering in their support of the new president, according to a new Gallup poll. Tracking polls conducted through Obama’s first 100 days in office show that 79 percent of Jews approve of Obama’s performance so far, about the same percentage that voted for him last November.Only Muslims gave Obama higher approval ratings, with 85 percent responding that they approve of the president. Respondents who identified themselves as nonreligious also indicated overwhelming support, with 73% indicating approval.
Liberal Jews showed overwhelming support for the Democratic president, with 96% approving of his job performance. Among those who described themselves as moderate, 77% approved of Obama.
Jewish conservatives split evenly, with 45% approving of Obama and 45% disapproving.
The poll’s authors noted that Obama has taken a strong stand on the Middle East by appointing George Mitchell as a special peace envoy and dispatching Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the region. The new administration has also signaled shifts in their approach to Iran’s nuclear program.
“It is not clear whether US Jews endorse Obama’s approach, but the fact that four in five approve of the job he is doing – consistent with their vote for him in the election – suggests they at least tolerate it,” they wrote.
Among Christians, Catholics favored Obama by 67%, while 58% of those who identified themselves as Protestants approved of his performance.
Mormons showed the lowest approval ratings of any group, nearly splitting with 45% approving and 40% disapproving of Obama.