‘Is This Antisemitic?’: New Poll Shows US Voters Influenced by Political Partisanship in Determining the Answer
A new poll released on Wednesday suggested that US voters from both parties are swayed by political partisanship when asked to judge whether a statement is antisemitic.
The poll, commissioned by Morning Consult/Politico, was conducted over the weekend, following separate controversies regarding hostile comments towards Israel made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and comparisons between COVID-19 restrictions and the Nazi Holocaust proffered by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).
The survey of 1,994 registered voters asked half of the respondents whether they thought Omar’s tweet condemning “unthinkable atrocities committed by the US, Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban” was antisemitic, without the second-term lawmaker’s name attached to it. The other half was asked the same question, but also given the Minnesota Democrat’s name and party affiliation.
Among the respondents who were not informed that Omar was the author of the contentious statement, 31 percent of voters – including 36 percent of Republicans – said the comment was antisemitic, while 41 percent said it was not.
However, a slightly greater share of voters — 35 percent — who knew that the remark was made by Omar deemed it antisemitic, driven by an 11-point increase among Republican voters.
The survey observed the same process with far-right lawmaker Greene, but in reverse.
Nearly 3 in 5 voters, including 55 percent of Republicans, said Greene’s tweet comparing COVID-19 vaccinations with the “Judenstern” (Jewish Star) which the Nazis forced Jews to wear was antisemitic when her name was not attached.
But when the sample saw her name and party affiliation, the share who agreed the tweet was antisemitic dropped, falling 4 points among the overall electorate and by a full 14 points among Republicans.
The poll showed as well that the 57 percent of Republicans hostile to Omar — a prominent member of ‘The Squad” of left-wing House Democrats — outweighed the 49 percent Democrats who regard Greene in similar fashion.