The Pew Research Study on Jewish Americans says in part:

On these measures (partisanship and ideology), the only other U.S. religious groups that are as conservative and Republican as Orthodox Jews are white evangelical Protestants and Mormons.

With ultra-Orthodox more strongly identified that way than Modern Orthodox. For non-Orthodox Jews (and especially if you remove Conservative from the mix):

Jews by religion are more than twice as likely as members of most other religious traditions to describe themselves as politically liberal. And black Protestants are the only religious group with a larger share than Jews by religion that identifies with or leans toward the Democratic Party.

(For those outside of America, if you view politics as a two dimensional line, these two positions are on right and left side of the line, respectively).

What about Orthodox Jewish beliefs cause people with an otherwise similar cultural and ancestral background and experience in America to reach different political conclusions than their compatriots who do not have this religious belief? Is there something specific about the beliefs of Orthodox Judaism that is interpreted as requiring association with one side of the political spectrum over the other, or is this correlation unrelated to religious belief and practice?

Note that for purposes of this survey, self-identification was all that was used. If someone identified themselves as Orthodox and as Republican, it was reported as such. So an objective definition of Republican isn't necessary to answer this question, but rather something which correlates the impression among Orthodox adherents about what political groups they are more affiliated with.

Possible objective sources of answers:

  1. Clear statements from influential Rabbis, Rabbinic Organizations or lay leadership in the Orthodox world which support such political leanings.
  2. A social scientists study on what may create that correlation.
  3. Personal experience with broad ranges of Orthodox Jews and finding a common theme in what they express about their political leanings.
  4. Something I didn't think of.
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    @close-voters Why is this off-topic or opinion based? On topic: It asks about Jewish values that would create a certain affiliation, not about Jews. Not opinion-based: It asks about specific beliefs of Orthodox Judaism, which I assume could be sourced and objective. Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 18:48
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    This question is a better fit for politics.stackexchange.com
    – Jake
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 19:07
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    @sabbahillel and all: Conversation on YEZ's last comment continues in chat. Please don't continue it here.
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 19:37
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    @YEZ I don't see how this is different from comparative religion questions. We are asked to compare Judaism with another named but not-here-defined idealogy and interest group. There's no more reason (well, except for said Pew report, I guess :^/) to expect users here to be experts on conservatism or Republican politics than there is to expect them to be experts on Christianity.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 19:51
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1 Answer 1


In demographic terms, Hasidic Jews are more similar to some highly religious Christian groups than liberal Jews,” Comenetz said. “They may also sympathize more with the Republicans than the Democrats on values questions. So, one outcome may be a change in the way Jews vote.”

Quote is from here

Christianity gets most of its morality from Judaism, and this is a fact that many Christians will happily admit. In the USA, basic questions of morality did not divide the two major political parties, until the latter part of the 20th century.

A Jew who desires to keep the laws of liberal progressivism, will of course gravitate to politicians that promise to promote the liberal progressive agenda.

However, a Jew who desires to keep the laws of Hashem, will identify with politicians who follow a very similar set of morals.

There are a few Orthodox Jews who have held prominent positions within the Democratic Party. Joe Liberman was a US Senator for decades, although today's Democratic Party has shifted tremendously to the progressive left in the decades since Senator Liberman first entered politics.

The current US Treasury Secretary is also an Orthodox Jew, and a progressive liberal, but this requires a great deal of Cognitive Dissonance. Essentially, this ideological position requires one to say to oneself "I personally believe that X is a sin, but society is better off if we spend lots of tax money promoting X, and making sure more X happens all over the country"

There are several issues on which Orthodox Jews and Conservative Republicans have found increasing common ground, such as:

  • School Vouchers (yeshiva tuition would be partially covered by funds already allotted for your children's public school education)
  • Religious Freedom (we don't want the government telling us how to shecht, how to do brit milah, or what we have to teach our children)
  • Support for Israel (even Satmar doesn't want Hamas or Hezbollah to kill all the Jews in Israel).

Conversely, while Orthodox Jews may be less concerned with allowing gentiles to have abortions, or allowing two men to get a piece of paper calling them 'married', we certainly understand why the Conservative Christian world fights actively against these things. The basis for their opposition is our Torah, as they understand it.

While the U.S. Jewish population is larger than previously estimated , nearly all of the gain in population is from Orthodox Jews. Very few non-Orthodox Jews have more than two children, and many don't have kids at all, so all growth in our demographic for the foreseeable future will come from shomrei torah u'mitzvot.

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    As @ShmuelBrin is alluding to, what this question is missing is a clear explanation of why, culturally, certain "laws of Hashem" factor more strongly in many Orthodox Jews' choice of political affinity than others. It's easy enough to set up, in the course of discussion, "liberal progressivism" as obviously in basic opposition to "laws of Hashem," but, depending on what, precisely, those two labels mean, they may overlap a great deal. I believe it is true that many Orthodox Jews do make the same assumption of these labels' opposition, but this answer doesn't make it clear why.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 20:50
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    Summary: Objectively, Orthodox Jews are Repulican because to be Democratic and Orthodox means you are crazy. (I'm just waiting for another answer to come along and say the exact opposite.)
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 21:19
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    @DoubleAA I didn't say crazy. Cognitive Dissonance is something we all do to some degree. Yaakov Lew isn't crazy, he's a brilliant man, a fine yid, and dead wrong on proper size and role of government. That's all.
    – Jake
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 21:24
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    @Jake And all of us are crazy to some degree. What you didn't account for is someone being Liberal without cognitive dissonance because you apparently can't even see such an option.
    – Double AA
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 21:36

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