Survey says a few more Jewish Americans are Republican than before - and markedly fewer are Democrats

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Christian Examiner) -- A recent Gallup survey found a slight increase in American Jews who lean toward being Republicans. Moreover, the study completed through 2014 revealed the number of those identifying as Democrats within this religious and ethnic group has dropped significantly, even more than in the overall population.

While 61 percent of Jewish Americans still lean Democratic, that number is down from 71 percent in 2008. The 10-point drop is higher than the seven-point drop in the general public who claimed to no longer identify with the Democratic Party.

Twenty-nine percent of Jewish Americans who were polled, about three out of 10, claimed affiliation with the Republican Party in 2014, a rise of 7 percentage points from 2008, when 22 percent in this demographic identified themselves as Republicans.

Overall, American Jews are proportionately well-represented in Congress.

Gallup pointed to a PEW survey showing 5 percent of all House members and Senators are Jewish. All but one are Democrats, with the lone exception being Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York, a newly elected Republican. Jews make up 2 percent of the U.S. population.

Across the board gender, education and religion influence the political leanings of all Americans.

According to the report, overall in the country, women lean more toward Democrats as do those with higher education attainment. Meanwhile, highly religious Americans lean more toward Republicans.

Gallup said few Jews claim to be highly religious and a greater proportion hold degrees in higher education, so the fact that about two-thirds still identify with the Democratic party is not surprising. Even with the 10 percent drop, the public opinion researcher found "few systematic differences in party identification in the Jewish population across age, income or region of country."

Gallup interviewed a random sample of 4,116 American Jews by telephone from Jan. 2 to Dec. 30, 2014.