Republican candidate Donald Trump’s campaign team has aggressively sought to win votes from Americans living overseas in Israel, but the latest polls taken of the Jewish population show Trump trailing far behind Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
The gap is so wide that the figures are almost as bad for Trump as those in Clinton’s home state of New York where she benefits from a 25 point lead.
Yet Israel, unlike New York, typically leans Republican.
Moreover, Trump has campaigned harder in Israel than any other U.S. presidential candidate with three offices in Israel and one campaign office in a settlement in the West Bank, while Clinton has no staff working to get votes in Israel. And still, polls suggest Trump would lose Israel by a landslide.
When asked which candidate is “preferable” to Israel’s interest, 42 percent of Jewish-Israelis responded Clinton, compared to 26.5 who said Trump. An even larger number said Clinton will win the race. Fifty-five percent believe Clinton will be the next president, ahead of the 25 percent of Israelis who said Trump is the likely winner.
The poll was conducted jointly by the Israeli Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University and administered days before the Washington Post released the tape of Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women. Six hundred Israelis participated, although the survey did not indicate if any of the respondents were dual Israeli-American citizens.
Reuters reported in May results of a similar poll conducted among Jewish-Israelis that also did not note if the respondents were American citizens. At that time Clinton led with nine points, meaning she has more than doubled her support.
Securing votes from Americans in Israel is more vital to Trump than Clinton. GOP operatives in the group Republicans Overseas Israel have explained it is widely thought that many of the American voters are registered in the key battleground state of Florida where Clinton currently holds a three-point lead over Trump according to most polls. Among Orthodox Jews, a Florida study commissioned by the Clinton team found Trump is the top candidate. Israel has more Orthodox Jews than America, so all of the specs should point to a Trump victory in this overseas ballot race. Instead, he is losing, and badly.
If Republican operatives in Israel are correct and a large number of Americans in Israel are registered in Florida, early votes and registration drives also point to a Clinton win. When compared to this date in the election cycle of 2012, Republican early voter ballots out numbered Democrats by two points more than today. Voter registration numbers also confirm a favoring of Clinton over Trump with 177,000 ballots requested by Democrats, compared to 42,000 requested from the GOP.
Thus, a win in Israel could have tipped the scales in Florida for Trump, but it probably will not.
What is noticeable about the Trump campaign in Israel versus his outreach in the U.S., is that he continues to be supported by all leaders in the party’s overseas club. Trump has paid staff in Israel, Clinton does not. The past week has seen dozens of Republicans renounce Trump in the U.S., but anecdotal reporting from local Israeli media has shows Trump is losing steam on the ground among rank and file Republicans, particularly women.
Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day. Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naive!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2016
Likely in response to the latest polls, Trump tweeted repeatedly over the weekend that the election, pollings, and polling places are rigged. He has not yet mentioned the Israeli polls, which show similar losses.
The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 16, 2016