2012 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion

Sponsor(s): American Jewish Committee (AJC)

Study Dates: March 14-March 27,2012

Report issued April 30, 2012

Key Findings:

The AJC 2012 poll continues the tradition of polling American Jews on political issues and their attitudes to Israel - albeit using an Internet survey in the 2012 survey.


Press Release, Data Summary and Overview all summarize results of the survey.The AJC survey "...shows President Obama would win a majority of the Jewish vote in a contest against Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee. Obama would gain 61 percent and Romney 28 percent, with 11 percent undecided. Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008.

"The survey also found that more Jewish women (67 percent) than men (55 percent) would vote for Obama, while Romney is favored by 34 percent of American Jewish men and 22 percent of women."


Press release notes that the survey probed the link between the frequency of synagogue attendance and voting behavior (for the first time).


"Among the 14 percent of American Jews who attend religious services one or more times per week, 52 percent would vote for Obama and 34 percent for Romney."

By comparison, among the three-of-ten of all respondents who never attend religious services, 67 percent would vote for Obama, while 21 percent would vote for Romney.


"More than half -- 57 percent -- approve of the way President Obama is handling the economy."


"On the current state of U.S.-Israel relations, 58 percent approve and 40 percent disapprove of President Obama's handling of the relationship."


"By comparison, 70 percent approve of Prime Minister Netanyahu's handling of U.S.- Israel relations and 28 percent disapprove."


"Asked for the most important issues in deciding their vote, 80 percent of American Jews cite the economy, 57 percent health care, 26 percent national security and 22 percent U.S.-Israel relations."


Sixty-two percent of those voters who cite the economy as a top issue in the election prefer Obama to Romney, who would win 28 percent of those voters."Nearly three-quarters (72 percent) of American Jews who cite health care as a top concern would vote for Obama if the election were held today against Romney, while Romney would win 19 percent of their votes."

"But among Jews who are more focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42 percent would vote for Obama ...[while 44%] of those who cite national security and 45 percent of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations would vote for Romney.


Almost one in five respondents to the survey identify themselves as Republican (19 percent), more than half as Democrat (52 percent), and about one-quarter as Independent (26 percent)


"Iran's nuclear program continues to concern American Jews.... 89 percent are concerned about the prospect of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons....


"If diplomacy and sanctions fail, 64 percent would support, and 34 percent oppose, U.S. military action against Iran, while 75 percent would support, and 25 percent oppose, Israeli military action."

"Regardless of how the respondents intend to vote, 60 percent think the Democratic Party is more likely to make the right decision in dealing with Iran's nuclear program. Thirty-seven percent choose the Republican Party."


American Jewish Adults

Sample Size: 1,074 Internet responses.

Sample Notes:

AJC survey in 2012 utilized Internet surveys completed by members of the Knowledge Network panel.

1,356 invitations to participate sent to members of the Knowledge Network KnowledgePanel.


1,074 responses.79% response rate to survey.Margin of error reported as +/- 4.8%

Methodology, including basic information on the Knowledge Network panel, available in "Methodology" report below.Internet responses have been post-stratified, using PEW American Religious Landscape Survey as basis of post-stratification.Please note that 2012 Jewish Values Survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) also utilized a Knowledge Network Jewish panel.

While the 2012 Jewish Values Survey post-stratified data using both the PEW study and NJPS 2000-2001, National Jewish Population Study (for denominational estimates), the percentage of Orthodox (8%), Conservative (26%), Reform (34%) and Just Jewish (26%) respondents in the AJC 2012 poll is almost identical to the 2012 Jewish Values Survey post-stratified results.

Study Notes:

Data file for 2012 AJC Poll of American Jewish Public Opinion available below ; special thanks to AJC and GfK for their prompt placement of the 2012 file on the North American Jewish Data Bank web site.

Number of cases = 1,074


Unweighted N: 833 cases Jewish by religion, 241 Jewish via followup question [Consider self] - of whom, 103 reported partially or half Jewish.


Weighted distribution adjusts Jewish by religion downward slightly: 802 Jewish-by-religion, 272 self-ID Jewish.


Final adjusted weight is last variable in the data file, and should be used for data - see description of weighting procedures in Methodology Report.

Language: English


Survey Reports

» Study Overview

Documentation, Questionnaires and Frequencies

» Methodology

» Data Summary

Data Files and Data Definitions

» Zipped SPSS Data File

Publicity Material

» Press Release

» New AJC Survey Confirms Findings of PRRI"s Jewish Values Survey

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