When the Jewish Electorate Institute (JEI) – a non-partisan organization dedicated to deepening the public’s understanding of Jewish American participation in our democracy – wanted estimates of the Jewish population in each of the 435 districts of the 116th US Congress and the District of Columbia, the American Jewish Population Project (AJPP) was uniquely positioned to provide these critical data. Having developed a database consisting of over 1,000 nationally representative surveys of nearly 3 million US adults, AJPP researchers were able to draw on the most recent years of data to develop estimates of the Jewish electorate for each of the congressional districts in the United States.
The American Jewish Population Project's National profile of the Jewish electorate describes the Jewish voting-age population by modeling data from nationally representative surveys of US adults that assess religious identification. Surveys included the American National Election Studies, the General Social Survey, Pew political and social surveys, the Gallup Daily Tracking poll, and the Gallup Poll Social Series. Data were combined using Bayesian multilevel modeling with poststratification to obtain estimates of the number of adults who self-identify as Jewish and a breakdown of those individuals by age, education, race/ethnicity, and political orientation. A subset of surveys that looked at voting behavior were analyzed to assess how Jewish adults voted in previous US presidential elections. The synthesis of general population surveys ensures coverage of the entire United States, including areas with known Jewish communities and areas without any organized Jewish community.
Congressional districts in New York, Florida, and California have the highest percentages of Jewish adults among the electorate, ranging from 24% of the electorate in FL-21 (152,000 Jewish adults) and NY-10 (151,000 Jewish adults), to 20% in NY-3 (117,000 Jewish adults) and NY-12 (113,000 Jewish adults), and 18% in CA-30 (105,000 Jewish adults) and NY-17 (102,000 Jewish adults). The Jewish electorate in these districts is predominantly older. Over 50% of the Jewish electorate in FL-21 is aged 65 years or older. Results also indicate that nationally, more Jewish adults identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party (65%) than as Republican (29%), and liberal (45%) than as conservative (19%).