Jewish Oppose War More Than Any Other Religious Group
Jeffrey Jones looks at Gallup polls over the last two years and finds that “among the major religious groups in the United States, Jewish Americans are the most strongly opposed to the Iraq war. Catholics and Protestants are more or less divided in their views on the war, while Mormons are the most likely to favor it.”
My first reaction to that headline, and likely yours as well, is that “religious affiliation” is just a proxy for ideology or party leaning. After all, Mormons are overwhelmingly Republican and rural while Jews are mostly Democrat and urban. Jones has covered that base:
But a closer analysis of the data show that Jewish war opposition goes beyond their basic political leanings. Jewish people are more likely to oppose the war than non-Jews of the same political persuasion. For example, 89% of Jewish Democrats oppose the Iraq war, compared with 78% of all non-Jewish Democrats.
The departures are even greater when looking at non-Democrats. Sixty-five percent of non-Democratic Jews oppose the war, compared with just 38% of non-Democrats of all other religious groups. Despite the limited sample size of non-Democratic Jews, the size of the difference is so large that it is still statistically significant.
It would be interesting to control for variables other than religion and party ID. For example, education, income, region, and military connectivity (whether they or family members have served, say) might explain a lot of the difference.
Further, “Jewish” is both a religious denomination and a cultural-ethnic group. One can be both “Jewish” and an atheist; that’s not the case for, say, Baptists. It’s not clear whether these data reflect only religious Jews. Obviously, comparing atheists to the religiously devout any attributing differences to religious affiliation is problematic.
UPDATE: Matt Yglesias jokes, “The rest are on Joe Lieberman’s staff and will probably be switching parties soon.”