Florida – The Jewish Vote
January 28, 2012 2 Comments
By Nathan Klein, Polling Director
Washington, Jan. 28 – As all (political) eyes are focused on Florida’s Republican Presidential Primary vote on Tuesday, new polling from Quinnipiac shows former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney leading the field by nine percentage points heading into the weekend. But, regardless of the nominee, Florida will once again be a key swing state in the electoral math for the general election. It is also one of the few states in which the Jewish vote can be a decisive factor in deciding elections.
As reported by the Florida Department of State, in 2004, the presidential election was decided by half a percentage point in favor of former President George W. Bush; and, in 2008, President Obama won the state by under three percentage points. In those two elections, according to CNN exit polling, Jews represented six percent and four percent of the electorate respectively.
National polling among the Jewish community, undertaken by the American Jewish Committee in September 2011, shows Obama taking only 50 percent of the vote in a match-up against Romney. But, in a Public Policy Polling poll (albeit with a small Jewish sample) taken the same month in Florida, Obama is seen taking the Jewish vote by wide margins, leading Romney by 78-11 (although his standing on Israel was at a lower 61 approve – 31 disapprove level).
It is unquestionable that Florida will be a hotly contested state in the general election; small changes among the Jewish population have the potential for a big national impact.
Also, see: Florida voters want more focus on Israel