New opinion poll illuminates growing challenges of polarization and antisemitism

 

October 21, 2022



A poll conducted by the Jewish Institute for Liberal Values and OneMessage Public Strategies reveals that self-identified “Progressives” and “Very Liberals” carry views far removed from the rest of the electorate, particularly on the Jewish community.

In addition to domestic issues, those polled were asked their views on Israel and the current state of antisemitism in America. Seventy eight percent of self-identified Progressives and 81 percent of self-identified Very Liberals believe Jewish Americans have “unfair advantages” that need to be addressed. Seventeen percent of self-identified Progressives and 20 percent of Very Liberals believe American Jews have too much power. Additionally, 21 percent of self-identified Progressives and 25 percent of self-identified Very Liberals believe Jews “benefit from privilege.”

Regarding views on the Jewish State, 45 percent of self-identified Progressives view Israel as an “occupier/colonizer,” and forty seven percent of self-identified Progressives believe Israel has too much power.

The poll indicates that most likely voters see cancel culture as a problem, are tired of extremism on both sides, and believe that free and open conversations are the first step to solutions. Most voters across the political spectrum are primarily concerned with issues such as the economy, crime, inflation, and immigration, while self-identified Progressives’ top three concerns are universal healthcare, climate change, and structural racism.

Progressives and Very Liberals consistently have the strongest, and most independent views in relation to “Moderates” and “Conservatives,” according to the poll. Their views have led them to make sacrifices to their immediate social circles, with 67 percent of Progressives and 54 percent of Very Liberals claiming to have effectively “cancelled” a friend or family member due to their political views.

On the results of the poll, JILV CEO, David Bernstein shared, “This poll confirms some of the worst fears of the Jewish community – that a dogmatic commitment to critical theory and a social justice lens can contribute significantly to antisemitism. While the majority of Americans support freedom of speech, oppose hyper-partisanship, and support traditional liberal values, the far left continues to view politics as a zero-sum game – dividing the world into ‘oppressors’ and ‘oppressed,’ and willing to expel those they disagree with from their social circle – and the results aren’t good for Jews.”

JILV convened a series of focus groups in the summer of 2022 to hear directly from Black, Asian, and Jewish American communities about how they perceive and understand political trends and cultural concepts—and how these changing social mores affect their daily work. These focus groups informed the creation of the poll. The nationwide poll surveyed 1,600 likely voters. It was conducted from July 30th-August 3rd, 2022 and was stratified to reflect historical turnout. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 2.5 percent.

 

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