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Mormons strong behind Romney; Obama's Jewish support dips

June 09, 2012|By Mitchell Landsberg

Hold the presses! Mormons are supporting Mitt Romney for president, according to a new Gallup poll!

The poll results, released Friday, also found that Jewish voters, historically among the most loyal of Democratic constituencies, strongly support President Obama.

We're not going to try to spin this as earth-shattering news, but true political junkies will find interesting implications in the numbers, none of them good for Obama.

It may be no surprise that Mormon support for Romney is overwhelming. (He gets 84% of Mormons, compared to 13% for Obama.) Mormons tend to vote Republican, and Romney is one of their own: He would be the first Mormon president. What's significant is that he polls 9 percentage points higher among Mormons than John McCain did in 2008.

And Obama's Jewish numbers, while good, are down a full 10 percentage points from 2008. That year, he was attracting 74% of Jewish voters in pre-election polls. This year, he's the choice of 64%, compared to 29% for Romney.

Neither Jews nor Mormons are large voting blocs, and both tend to be concentrated in states that are not in play this fall (or, really, almost any fall) -- Mormons in deep red Utah and Idaho; Jews in true blue New York and California.

Ah, but there are some exceptions. A 9% boost in Mormon support could make a difference for Romney in a swing state such as Nevada, with its sizable Mormon population. And the Jewish vote is crucial in Florida, another swing state, and could also make a difference in a close race in Ohio or Pennsylvania. Politically speaking, that ain't chopped liver.

Gallup conducted the survey as part of its regular daily tracking polls between April 11 and June 5. The results are based on interviews with 576 Jewish and 524 Mormon registered voters. The margin of error for both groups is plus or minus 5 percentage points.

mitchell.landsberg@latimes.com

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