September 13, 2016 — New York, New York
A new AJC survey of American Jews shows that Democrat Hillary Clinton would win 61 percent of the Jewish votes and Republican Donald Trump would garner 19 percent, if elections were held today.
The AJC 2016 Survey of American Jewish Opinion is the first national survey of Jewish attitudes in this year’s election campaign and the latest in the global Jewish advocacy organization’s annual surveys that date back decades.
It also covers the views of American Jews on other pressing issues, including the degree of confidence they have in key American institutions; what they think is the appropriate role of the U.S. in world affairs; and views on antisemitism and the U.S.-Israel relationship, as well as Arab-Israeli issues and Jewish identity.
2016 Presidential Elections
When asked which issues are most important in deciding how to vote this year, “The Economy/Jobs” was by far the most popular response, 51 percent indicating it as their first or second choice. “Terrorism/National Security” was next with 31 percent rating it first or second, and tied for third were “Foreign Policy” and “Healthcare,” both at 22 percent.
The AJC survey also shows that most Jews continue to identify as liberals and Democrats. Fifty-one percent say they are "liberal" or "lean liberal," as compared to 24 percent who identify as "conservative" or "lean conservative." Another 23 percent identify as "moderate" or “middle-of-the-road.”
Regarding party affiliation, 51 percent identify as Democrats, 18 percent as Republicans, and 26 percent as Independents (one percent of respondents identify as Libertarian and 2 percent affiliate with the Green Party).
When asked which issues are most important in deciding how to vote this year, 51 percent of respondents indicated "The Economy/Jobs" as their first or second choice. “Terrorism/National Security” and “Foreign Policy” were considered the second and third most important issues.
On the state of U.S.-Israel relations today,16 percent consider the bilateral relationship "very good," 57 percent say it is "fairly good," 17 percent consider it is "fairly poor," and eight percent call it "very poor."
The divide by party affiliation is sharp. Among Jewish Republicans, 13 percent say the relationship is "very good," 42 percent "fairly good," 28 percent "fairly poor," and 16 percent "very poor." Jewish Democrats are more optimistic, 19 percent saying the relationship is "very good," 63 percent "fairly good," 12 percent "fairly poor," and four percent "very poor."
Antisemitism continues to be a major concern for American Jews, with a majority viewing it as a problem generally in the U.S., including on college campuses.
Twenty-one percent consider antisemitism in the U.S. a "very serious problem," 52 percent "somewhat of a problem," 22 percent "not much of a problem," and four percent "not a problem at all."
As for college campuses, 23 percent say antisemitism is a "very serious problem" there and another 34 percent call it "somewhat of a problem," as compared with 21 percent who say it is "not much of a problem" and six percent who think it is "not a problem at all."
U.S. Global Leadership, Congress
A clear majority of American Jews think the U.S. should play either the "leading role" (26 percent) or "a major role, but not the leading role" (58 percent) in solving international problems, while 10 percent say the U.S. role should be "minor" and four percent say it should have "no role at all."
Jews, like other Americans, have little confidence in Congress. The AJC survey found that only two percent of Jews have a "great deal of confidence" in Congress, four percent "quite a lot," 29 percent "some," 43 percent "very little," and 17 percent "none." A Gallup poll in June found that three percent of Americans have a "great deal of confidence" in Congress, six percent “quite a lot,” 35 percent “some,” 52 percent "very little," and three percent "none."
AJC’s 2016 Survey of American Jewish Opinion, conducted by the research company SSRS, is based on telephone interviews carried out August 8-28 with a national sample of 1,002 Jews over age 18. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.57%.