President Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008. But if this poll reflects the true sentiment of the Jewish community, Obama's re-election chances have fallen even further:
Secure America Now has just released a new poll showing that only 43 percent of Jews plan to vote to reelect Obama in 2012. If this holds, it would be a considerable drop from the 78 percent of the Jewish vote Obama received in 2008, and from the standard 75-80 percent of the Jewish vote that Democratic political strategists have come to expect and rely upon.
The bipartisan poll, done by John McLaughlin and Pat Caddell, also found that Obama is likely to have particular trouble with Jews in the all-important state of Florida, as only 34 percent of Florida's Jews would vote to reelect him. Unsurprisingly, Obama does better among Jews in blue states like California, Illinois, and Maryland, but Republican strategists are unlikely to contest those states heavily, whereas the Florida vote really matters.
In addition, in a positive sign for the future, Obama's worst showing in the poll was among Jews under 40. Sixty-one percent of these younger Jews reported that they planned to vote for someone other than Obama for president in 2012.
Making a difference in Florida would be huge. Obama is likely to lose a couple of those red states like Indiana and North Carolina in 2012 and he needs either Florida or Ohio to make up for those lost electoral votes. In a close election, those Jewish votes would probably spell the difference between victory and defeat.