2008 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion

September 8-21, 2008

Methods Statement

The Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion is a poll commissioned by the American Jewish Committee. It is conducted by Synovate, a leading survey-research organization. The Survey of American Jewish Opinion has been conducted yearly since the early 1990’s. Over the years, the question styles and methodology have been kept as stable as possible to provide consistent results from year to year.

The Consumer Opinion Panel has served and continues to serve as the primary sample source for the survey. Panel members are recruited to join the panel and participate in surveys conducted by Synovate. Several times a year, the panel is screened for religious self-identification. In 2008, the sample source was broadened by including a sample from a distinctive name list supplied by Scientific Telephone Samples, Inc. This decision came about as Synovate panel recruiting methods moved more towards supporting online interviewing capabilities in addition to phone and mail. It was felt a broader base would help insure more reliable results.

The Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion is a telephone survey that uses a stratified sample design with targets by 6 age categories and gender. Both the panel and list provide general age and gender information. Sample size targets are set by these criteria and the interviewing works the sample diligently to achieve these sample size targets. Respondents are always asked to verify their age and their religious identification. Although no strict sample size is set for the ratio of listed sample to total, the plan is to achieve about a 1 in 5 ratio. The percents of the sample from the listed sample source were 18.8%, 16.8% and 21.6% in 2008, 2009, and 2010 surveys, respectively.

If the survey coincides with the Jewish holidays, interviewing is suspended for those days. No interviewing takes place on Friday nights or Saturdays. Interviewing was conducted by trained and experienced interviewers with supervision provided by Synovate study directors. Interviews are monitored continuously to assure quality and interviewer consistency.

The 2008 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion began interviewing by telephone on September 8 and continued through September 21. The sample consisted of 914 self-identifying Jewish respondents, representative of the United States adult Jewish population on a variety of measures. The margin of error for the sample as a whole is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

A. Presidential Election

1. Where would you place yourself on this scale?

Extremely liberal
  5

 

 
Liberal
28




Slightly liberal
11




Moderate, middle of the road
30




Slightly conservative
10




Conservative
12




Extremely conservative   2

 

 
Not sure   2

 

 

2. In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an Independent?

2008 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion, www.ajc.org


3. If the election for president were being held today, for whom would you vote--John McCain, Republican, or Barack Obama, Democrat?




4. Do you approve or disapprove of Barack Obama’s selection of Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate?





5. Do you approve or disapprove of John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his vice-presidential running mate?





6. Which one issue would you most like to hear the candidates for president discuss during the 2008 presidential campaign?

Economy
54




War in Iraq
  6

 

 
Health Care
11




Immigration
  2

 

 
Energy
  5

 

 
Education
  2

 

 
Israel
  3

 

 
Taxes
  2

 

 
Social Security
  2

 

 
Supreme Court Nominations
  1

 

 
Terrorism
  5

 

 
Not Sure
  6

 

 

7. Regardless of how you usually vote, do you think the Republican Party or the Democratic Party is more likely to make the right decision in dealing with the following issues?


Republican
Democratic
Notssure
Terrorism 36

53
11
Ensuring a strong economy 28

62

10
Support for Israel 32

52

16
Energy independence 26

63

11
War in Iraq
31

61

 7
B. International and Domestic Issues

8. Would you support or oppose the United States taking military action against Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons?




9.
Do you think there will or will not come a time when Israel and its Arab neighbors will be able to settle their differences and live in peace?

Will 38




Will not
56




Not sure   6

 

 

10. Do you think that Israel can or cannot achieve peace with a Hamas-led Palestinian government?

Can
22




Cannot
68




Not Sure 10





11. What is the best way for the United States to handle its energy needs -- by encouraging greater energy production, by encouraging greater energy conservation, or by developing alternative energy sources?

Greater energy production   7




Greater energy conservation   6




Developing alternative energy sources 75




All three (vol.) 10




Not sure   2





12.
Do you think that anti-Semitism in the United States is currently a very serious problem, somewhat of a problem, or not a problem at all?

Very serious problem 23




Somewhat of a problem 63




Not a problem at all 14




Not Sure
  1

 

 

                 

             

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C. Jewish Involvement

13. Do you think of yourself as . . .

Orthodox   8

 

 
Conservative 28




Reconstructionist    1




Reform 30




Just Jewish 31




Not sure
  2





14. How important would you say being Jewish is in your own life?


Very important 50




Fairly important 36




Not very important 13




Not sure     1

 

 

15. How close do you feel to Israel?

Very close 29




Fairly close 38




Fairly distant 23




Very distant   8




Not Sure   2





                 

             

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Date: 9/21/2008 12:00:00 AM
Copyright 2013/2014 AJC