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Most US Jews oppose Trump but the Orthodox stick with him

(RNS) — A new survey of U.S. Jews offers a breakdown of the Jewish vote in favor of President Trump and suggests those divisions — among the major streams of Judaism — remain fairly constant nine months later.

Though the majority of Jews did not vote for Trump, exit polls showed, those who identify as Orthodox were the most supportive of Trump on Election Day and continue to give him high marks.

Fifty-four percent of Orthodox Jews say they voted for Trump, according a new survey by the American Jewish Committee, or AJC. That was well above 24 percent of Conservative Jews, 10 percent of Reform Jews, 8 percent of Reconstructionist Jews, and 14 percent of respondents who identify themselves as “just Jewish.”

Conversely, Clinton garnered 13 percent of the Orthodox vote, 60 percent of Conservative Jewish vote, 78 percent of the Reform vote, and 89 percent of Reconstructionist vote.

The survey also shows that when it comes to politics, American Jews don’t differ much from the rest of the American public: Those who voted for President Trump still support him; the far larger contingent that opposed him still opposes him.

The poll found that overall 77 percent of respondents had an “unfavorable” view of the president, while 21 percent had a “favorable” view of the way he is governing. One percent said they were “not sure.”

That suggests a wide and growing polarization between Orthodox Jews who comprise a minority of the U.S. Jewish population and tend to skew conservative, and the far larger Reform and Conservative movements — as well as the small but influential Reconstructionist movement — that comprise the majority of U.S. Jews and skew liberal.

 

 

Just about the only issue on which the two groups appear united is their belief that anti-Semitism is growing.

Eighty-four percent of respondents said anti-Semitism is a problem, and 41 percent said it is a “very serious” problem, up from the 2016 survey in which 73 percent considered it…

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