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FL Jewish poll: Obama 69%-Romney 25%; Paul Ryan unpopular VP pick compared to Joe Biden

From the American Jewish Committee:

September 20, 2012 -- New York -- More than two-thirds -- 69 percent -- of Jewish voters in Florida say they will choose President Obama over Governor Romney, who will win 25 percent of the state's Jewish vote, according to a new American Jewish Committee (AJC) survey.

Obama won 76 percent of the Florida Jewish vote in 2008. Jews comprise about four percent of the voters in Florida, which is widely considered to be a key battleground state in the 2012 election.

AJC's survey explored Jewish attitudes towards choice of running mates, U.S.-Israel relations, Iran's nuclear program, and other top issues of concern when voting for president.

The telephone survey of 254 registered Jewish voters in Florida was conducted from September 7-9 by QEV Analytics, a public opinion research organization. It is the first in a series of AJC surveys of American Jewish opinion conducted this month. Ohio is the other battleground state where Jewish voters are being polled, and a full national survey is in progress.  AJC's last national survey of American Jews was conducted in March 2012.

"In a key state, to which both parties are devoting a great deal of time and attention, and where recent history is a reminder that the margin of victory can be razor-thin, the Jewish vote takes on added importance, said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "This survey, the first of three on the Jewish political outlook in the build-up to November 6, will doubtless be of interest to all those following this year's election."

Iran Nuclear Threat

There is overwhelming concern among Jewish voters about Iran's nuclear program. A majority would support military action by the United States or Israel if diplomacy and sanctions fail to stop Iran's quest for nuclear weapons.

n  79 percent are very concerned and 15 percent somewhat concerned about the prospect of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons. Six percent are not concerned.

n  53 percent say it is unlikely, and 43 percent say it is likely, that a combination of diplomacy and sanctions can stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

n  62 percent would support, and 27 percent oppose, U.S. military action against Iran if diplomacy and sanctions fail.

n  74 percent would support Israel military action, and 17 percent oppose.

A majority of Florida Jewish voters, 51 percent, approve, while 36 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling the Iranian nuclear program. When asked which major party is likely to make the right decisions regarding Iran's nuclear program, 56 percent choose the Democratic Party and 31 percent the Republican Party.

 Vice President

Seventy-two percent of respondents said it is important in deciding how to vote, and 26 percent said it is not.

For Obama's selection of Joseph Biden as his running mate, 76 percent approved and 14 percent disapproved. Regarding Romney's selection of Paul Ryan, 30 percent approved and 59 percent disapproved.

Other Issues of Concern to Florida Jewish Voters

The economy, health care and national security are the top issues of concern for Jewish voters in considering their choice for president.

n  64 percent approve, and 33 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling the economy.

n  69 percent approve, and 28 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling health care.

n  76 percent approve, and 22 percent disapprove, of the way President Obama is handling national security.

Florida Jewish voters, on a range of issues, favored the Democratic Party over the Republican Party for making the right decisions -- 66 percent to 27 percent on national security; 54 percent to 35 percent on U.S.-Israel relations; and 68 percent to 28 percent on the economy.

U.S.-Israel Relations

On U.S.-Israel relations, 72 percent view Prime Minister Netanyahu's handling of the relationship favorably, while 21 percent see it unfavorably. For President Obama's handling of U.S.-Israel relations, 61 percent approve and 33 percent disapprove.

Arab-Israeli Peace

On prospects for Arab-Israeli peace, 7 percent said the chances have increased compared to a year ago, 33 percent said they decreased, and 56 percent said they stayed the same.

AJC is a 501(c)(3) not-for profit, non-partisan organization that neither endorses nor opposes candidates for elected office. AJC has commissioned surveys of American Jews for many years on a range of key questions as a contribution to better understanding of the American Jewish community.