American Jews Like Obama Over Lieberman; Have Higher Opinion of MoveOn Than AIPAC

If Barack Obama has a problem among Jewish voters, then Sen. Joseph Lieberman is in monumental trouble.

Among the most high-profile Jews in Congress, Lieberman is viewed far more unfavorably than the presumptive Democratic nominee, according to a new poll. Only 37 percent of Jews view the Connecticut Independent in a favorable light compared to 48 percent who have a negative perception. As for Obama, 60 percent of Jews view him favorably while 34 percent view him unfavorably.

The findings were released as part of a recent survey of American Jews by the new progressive pro-Israel group J Street. They seem to upturn some of this year's conventional political wisdom.

Obama, who is set to travel to Israel this week, is often described in the press as facing significant obstacles to winning Jewish support, in part because of false claims that he is a Muslim. Lieberman, meanwhile, is regularly quoted disparaging Obama's credentials on topics considered dear to the Jewish voter's heart: toughness on Iran and support for the Jewish state. Asked recently whether he should be questioning Obama's commitment to Israel, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee responded, "why wouldn't I do that?"

Lieberman does score better among the 900 Jewish voters polled than other major political and religious figures. President Bush is viewed unfavorably by 74 percent of Jews, compared to 22 percent who see him in a positive light. McCain, meanwhile, is viewed favorably by just 34 percent of Jews, while 57 said they had a negative perception. On the lowest end of the spectrum stood Obama's former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was viewed favorably by just five percent of Jews and unfavorably by 68 percent.

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