John Sides has a graph showing that, for the past twenty years, Jews have been giving 70-80% of their votes to Democratic presidential candidates. From our forthcoming Red State, Blue State book, here are some data going back to 1968 (from the National Election Study):
Perhaps also of interest is how this relates to religious attendance. More frequent attenders are more likely to vote Republican, but the pattern varies by denomination. Here’s what was happening in 2004 (as estimated from the Annenberg pre-election survey):
The graph for 2000 looks similar except that the line for Jews was flat in that year.
Why care about Jewish voters?
The underlying question, though, is why should we care about a voting bloc that represents only 2% of the population (and even if Jews turn out at a 50% higher rate than others, that would still be only 3% of the voters), most of whom are in non-battleground states such as New York, California, and New Jersey? Even in Florida, Jews are less than 4% of the population. I think a lot of this has to be about campaign contributions and news media influence. But, if so, the relevant questions have to do with intensity of opinions among elite Jews rather than aggregates.
P.S. This sort of concern is not restricted to Jews, of course. Different minority groups exercise political power in different ways. I just thought it was worth pointing out that this isn’t a pure public opinion issue but rather something with more indirect pathways.