Analysis: Jewish Voters And Obama

SIDE-BY-SIDE: Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. Barrack Obama AP

This analysis was written by the CBS News polling unit.


According to exit polls conducted in 30 primary states, Jewish Democratic primary voters overall supported Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama - 54 percent chose Clinton compared to 43 percent who chose Obama. Jewish primary voters made up 4 percent of the total vote in the Democratic primary states polled.

Jewish women over 45 were very solidly behind Clinton's candidacy, and she won among Jewish Democratic primary voters of all income and education levels. Still, Obama won the support of Jewish men under 65, and he also won among both men and women under 30, those who consider themselves very liberal, and those who view the war in Iraq as the country's most important problem.

Looking ahead, support for Clinton in the Democratic primaries may not indicate a problem for Obama in November among the country's Jewish voters. According to CBS News national polls conducted from February to May, Jewish registered voters overall would choose either Obama or Clinton over John McCain in the general election.

AGE AND GENDER

As with Democratic primary voters overall, Clinton's support among Jewish voters increased as the age of the voters increased. Obama won a majority of Jewish voters under 30, but they made up just a tenth of the Jewish voting population. The candidates were divided among Jewish voters between 30 and 44, while Clinton won among Jewish voters who were older.

Obama won among Jewish men, but Jewish women voted in larger numbers, and they supported Clinton by a wider margin.

Overall, 44 percent of Jewish Democratic men voted for Clinton and 53 percent voted for Obama. Among women, 61 percent voted for Clinton and 36 percent voted for Obama.

Most Jewish men and women under 30 voted for Obama, and most over 65 voted for Clinton, but there was a large gender divide among voters between 30 and 65. Men in that age range voted for Obama - particularly between 30 and 44 (69 percent to 28 percent). But women between 30 and 44 voted for Clinton by about the same margin.

INCOME AND EDUCATION

Jewish Democratic primary voters are comparatively wealthy - more than half have incomes over $100,000 a year while only a quarter do among Democratic primary voters overall. Still, a majority of Jewish voters of all income levels supported Clinton.

Jewish Democratic primary voters are likewise more educated than Democratic primary voters overall - 79 percent have at least a college degree and more than half have a post-graduate degree. Still, most supported Clinton regardless of their level of education, though the margin narrows among those with a post-graduate education.

POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

Nearly seven in 10 Jewish primary voters were self-described liberals - far more than Democratic primary voters overall - but just how liberal they considered themselves had large implications for their vote. Most Jewish voters who said they were very liberal - slightly more than a quarter - voted for Obama, while most of those who said they were somewhat liberal - 4 in 10 overall - voted for Clinton. Moderates also voted for Clinton.

THE ISSUES

As with Democratic primary voters overall, Jewish Democratic primary voters picked the economy first as the most important problem facing the country today (45 percent), though they were more likely to choose the war in Iraq - 36 percent of Jewish voters compared to 27 percent among all Democratic primary voters.

And like other Democratic primary voters, Jewish voters who picked Iraq as the country's most important problem mostly voted for Obama. Most Jewish voters who picked the economy or health care chose Clinton.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE GENERAL ELECTION

Although Jewish Democratic voters favored Clinton in the primaries, Jewish registered voters overall say they would support either Obama or Clinton in a November match-up with McCain. According to CBS News Polls conducted from February to May, both Obama and Clinton would win among Jewish voters nationally by a comfortable margin.

If the candidates were Obama and McCain, the polls show Obama would get 65 percent of the vote of Jewish registered voters to 28 percent for McCain. If the candidates were Clinton and McCain, Clinton would get 68 percent to 26 percent for McCain.

And Jewish registered voters have a more favorable opinion of Obama (61 percent) than they do of Clinton (51 percent), though both are viewed favorably.

See The Full Data And Demographic Information.

Note: This analysis includes a phone poll conducted in Oregon before its state's primary and excludes exit poll data in Michigan, Iowa, and Nevada when looking at all Democratic primary voters, and it also excludes South Carolina when looking at Jewish Democratic primary voters.
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