How Politico’s Ben Smith and Gallup can both be right about U.S. Jews’ support for Obama

The latest Gallup poll results on U.S. Jews’ continued support of President Obama addressed directly how the findings contrasted with a Politico story by Ben Smith suggesting Jewish Democrats may be losing faith after the president’s May speech about Israel. Could both Gallup and Politico be right? Yes.

Gallup Senior Editor Lydia Saad told me by phone that “there is always this perceived divergence between the public more generally and more inside-the-beltway organizations; there’s a difference, this just documents it one more time.”

Saad said she referenced Smith’s story because people who read Politico may also be reading Gallup’s reports and might wonder about the discrepancy. “It’s useful for us to bridge the gap and say why the two analyses might differ. I didn’t say he’s wrong, I said his interviews may be reflective of a certain subgroup.”

That subgroup, as Smith wrote today in an update, may represent “a small number of votes in some key states, an outsized share of the Democratic donor base, and a vocal constituency.”

Gallup, Saad said, is “more interested in what nationally representative groups think … The point is to advance everyone’s understanding of what’s going on.”

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