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Barack Obama holds his own with Jewish voters, poll finds

May 7, 2008 | 11:25 am

Here's an interesting finding from Gallup pollsters: Almost as many Jewish voters say they would vote for Barack Obama for president against John McCain as say they would vote for Hillary Clinton in a matchup against the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

According to Gallup, 61% of Jewish voters surveyed said they'd vote for Obama in the general election, versus 32% who say they'd vote for McCain.

That compares with 66% of Jewish voters who said they'd vote for Clinton to the 27% who said they'd vote for McCain

Gallup suggested the poll indicated that Obama hasn't been noticeably hurt by his past relationship with his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., who has spoken positively of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and has rebuked Israel for the plight of Palestinians.

Evidence of Obama's concern about Jewish support for his candidacy stretches back to at least January, when he first publicly refuted Web-fueled rumors that he is or has been a Muslim. At the same time, he also disassociated himself from anti-Semitic remarks by Farrakhan and, of course, Wright.

-- Frank James

Frank James writes for the Swamp of the Chicago's Tribune Washington bureau.

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