By David Bernstein
Some surprising news from the world of politics: An outfit called the Jewish Electorate Institute conducted a survey of American Jews’ attitudes on politics. The resulting headline was that American Jews prioritize domestic issues over Israel, which wasn’t a surprise to anyone who pays attention to such things.
Much more surprising, and not in the headlines, was that the survey found that 31% of Jews under 30 (and at least 18) approve of President Trump, higher than any other Jewish age demographic except for slightly higher approval among millenials. But wait, there’s more.
The summary published by the JEI mysteriously excludes Orthodox Jews from its data on Trump approval by age group, but only from the younger cohorts. Thanks to high Orthodox birth rates, Orthodox outreach efforts, and widespread assimilation among the non-Orthodox, Orthodox Jews are a much larger percentage of the younger Jewish cohort than of older Jewish cohorts. 20% is a reasonable estimate of the percentage of American Jews under 30 who are Orthodox. And 57% of Orthodox Jews approve of Trump, but let’s round that up to 60% for the younger cohort, since younger Jews in general are more approving of Trump. That means approximately 37% of American Jews under 30 approve of Trump. By contrast, a recent poll showed that only 33% of Americans ages 15-34 approve of Trump.
If true, this would be especially remarkable because young American Jews tend to not be “religious” and live in coastal urban areas, two demographic indicators that strongly predict hostility to Trump.
Of course, the JEI poll needs to be confirmed by other data. But I should note that JEI hired the Greenberg firm, a liberal Democratic polling outfit, to do its polling, so there was no incentive to exaggerate support for Trump.