Trump/Numbers
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US President Donald Trump
Beyond paeans to the greatness of his record and attacks on the perfidy of the media and the wickedness of his political enemies, nothing appears to dominate Donald Trump's time on Twitter so much as the alleged hatred of Israel and antisemitism of the Democratic party.

But, as a newly released paper from polling agency Gallup underlines, American Jews remain largely immune to the president's apparent attempts to woo them.

Indeed, it cites a recent survey by Pew Research which finds that 42 per cent of Jews believe Mr Trump favours Israel too much. That percentage, moreover, is a much higher figure than that recorded by American Catholics or Protestants. Only 22 per cent of the latter — and a mere 15 per cent of evangelicals — believes the Trump administration has been too pro-Israel.

Mr Trump is an avid consumer of polling about himself and likely aware that his dire approval rating among Jews has barely shifted since he took office. At 29 per cent, it is at the same level as it was in January 2017 and well below the somewhat anemic 42 per cent approval rating he registers with voters overall.

Moreover, despite the president frequently highlighting the undoubtedly controversial remarks of the pro-BDS congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, most Jews remain stubbornly anchored to their Democratic Party moorings. 65 per cent identify with or lean to them, meaning Jewish backing for the Democrats is virtually unchanged since Mr Trump became president.

Jewish support for the Republican Party similarly remains stuck at 30 per cent. The perennial hope of the Grand Old Party — to pick the Democrats' lock over the "kosher vote" — continues to be unrealised.

As Gallup also indicates, however, Jews may be overwhelmingly anti-Trump but are also solidly pro-Israel. Nine in 10 US Jews say they're more sympathetic to Israel than the Palestinians — a figure which exceeds the American average of 60 per cent by some distance. In short, says the author of the paper, Frank Newport, there is little sign of the "Jewish cognitive dissonance that Trump asserts should be the case".

No doubt Mr Trump is frustrated that Jewish voters do not appear sufficiently grateful for the gifts he believes he has showered upon Israel. That frustration was evident in his trope-laden suggestion last month that "any Jewish people that vote for a Democrat, I think it shows either a total lack of knowledge or great disloyalty".

While those comments provided yet another example of the president's unfortunate habit of implying Jews have dual loyalties — in April, he referred to Benjamin Netanyahu as "your Prime Minister" when addressing the Republican Jewish Coalition — they somewhat obscure the raw politics underlying Mr Trump's approach.

It is true that Jews as a percentage of the adult population are above the national average in only two swing states: Florida, with its history of being decided by razor-thin margins, and Pennsylvania, which Mr Trump won by less than one per cent of the vote in 2016. However futile his efforts may appear, anything the president can do to chip away at the Democrats' huge Jewish vote margins may prove helpful in two states the president will need to hold to win re-election.

In reality, though, Mr Trump's messages about Israel and antisemitism are not primarily targeted at Jews at all. Evangelical voters — 81 per cent voted for him in 2016, while seven in 10 approve of him today — are a political mirror image of America's Jews, but register similarly huge levels of sympathy towards Israel as Jews.

Unlike Jews, of course, such voters are absolutely paramount to Mr Trump's chances of a second term. In 2016, evangelicals made up about a quarter of total voters, while polling conducted this summer indicated that evangelical conservatives constitute nearly one-third of the Republican party's base and almost half of the 70 per cent deemed "Trump loyalists".

It is thus evangelicals in rural and small-town America, not the country's urban Jews, who the president has in his electoral sights.