U.S. President Barack Obama won a 70 percent share of the Jewish vote, according to a national exit polls Tuesday evening — four points less than his share four years ago.
Jews constituted 2% of the overall CNN response group, but the network did not reveal the total number of people polled, so it was impossible to assess a margin of error.
The poll, posted on CNN's website, was commensurate with projections by pre-election polls by Gallup, the American Jewish Committee, among others, that Obama would win between 65 and 70% of the Jewish vote, JTA reported on its site Wednesday.
"The early results suggest Republicans' barrage of criticism about the president's commitment to Israel have had an effect. In the crucial swing state of Florida ... the president's share of the Jewish vote was lower than the national average, at 66%," the political blog The Hill wrote.
Exit polls reported that 66% of Florida Jews voted for Obama.
In stark contrast, exit polls of absentee ballots in Israel show that some 85% of American Jews living in Israel voted for Mitt Romney.
Steven Dishler, director of International Affairs at Jewish Federation of Metro Chicago, said he was not surprised by the Jewish vote.
"Two thirds of the Jewish community were happy and one third was less happy," he told Army Radio in an interview on Wednesday morning.
"The American Jewish community traditionally votes Democratic at around the 70% mark and I don't see that changing in the final tally of today's vote. Some of Obama's early decisions worried the Jewish community, but in the end we are one nation, we are a community that works to strengthen the bond between America and Israel there are many challenges; we also work to fix the relationship between the president and the prime minister in Jerusalem," Dishler said.
Obama will try to deal with the problems in Syria, the ongoing war in Afghanistan, and of course it is important for everyone to deal with Iran, he added.
"American Jews vote on the same issues that all American voters vote on, like the economy, jobs, and the debt crisis. According to our surveys Israel is fifth place on the agenda after the debt, immigration, the economy etc. Although Israel is important to American Jews, when they walk into the voting booth, they vote on internal issues."
"I expect we'll see an effort in the coming year or two to further the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians," he said.
"I don't think Obama will visit Israel before the Israeli elections because he won't want to interfere in them," Dishler added.
Ari Fleishcer, a Jewish political activist associated with the Republican Jewish Coalition congratulated President Obama, saying "Congratulations to President Obama. He got his vote out and won. He's my president and president of all Americans."
AIPAC's Jerusalem director, Wendy Singer, said "that despite the alleged anti-Israeli positions by Obama he still got 70% of the Jewish vote, and this shows that American voters want continuity."
NJDC chair Marc R. Stanley and NJDC President and CEO David A. Harris issued the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s re-election: “On behalf of the National Jewish Democratic Council’s leadership and staff, we are thrilled that President Barack Obama has won re-election and will serve as president of the United States for four more years. In his first term, President Obama signed historic legislation into law, appointed outstanding Supreme Court justices and reflected Jewish values at every turn — all while being Israel’s most important friend and most persistent advocate in the world. We know that he will continue to build on his outstanding foreign and domestic record in his second term, and that he will continue moving our country forward."
Alan Grayson, the Jewish former congressman from Florida who campaigned against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but has voted with Republicans on fiscal restraint measures, won Florida’s 9th Congressional District House seat. It’s Grayson’s second nonconsecutive term in the House. He served in 2008-10 as a representative from Florida’s 8th Congressional District. With 91% of the votes counted, Grayson won the district 61-38 against Republican Todd Long.
Josh Mandel, the 35-year-old Republican Jewish Ohio State Treasurer, lost his Senate bid to incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown. An Iraq vet, Mandel has pushed divestment from Iran as an Ohio state representative. He is considered a rising star among Jewish Republicans.
Michael Grimm, co-chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus, won re-election.