Interesting Result from a Survey of American Jewish Opinion:

American Jews are thought by many to be overwhelmingly liberal, but they apparently don't perceive of themselves that way. According to a recent poll, here is how American Jews characterize their political views:

Extremely liberal 4%; Liberal 26%; Slightly liberal 12%; Moderate 32%; Slightly conservative 10%; Conservative 12%; Extremely conservative 3%; Not sure 2%

So, while self-described liberals outnumber self-described conservatives, it's by 42% to 25%, with 32% describing themselves as moderates. Put another way, self-described moderates and conservatives in the Jewish community outnumber self-described liberals by 57% to 42%.

I can think of two plausible explanations for these results, which show a far less liberal Jewish community than one might expect based on reputation. One is that Orthodox Jews, Israelis, and immigrants from the former USSR, all of whom tend to be conservative relative to the general Jewish population, (I'm not certain that this is true of Israelis, but anecdotally they tend to be significantly more conservative than American Jews on at least military and church-state issues) are gradually becoming an increasingly large fraction of the Jewish community, and this is gradually making the community more conservative.

Another possibility is that the results are deceiving, and that many self-described "moderates" are only moderate compared to the people they tend to hang around with--disproportionately well-educated blue state urbanites working in professions that tend to be politically liberal (medicine, law, education, etc.) In other words, it's possible that many self-described Jewish moderates are really, in general American political terminology, quite liberal.

Of course, these two explanations are not contradictory, and both may be true. Does anyone know of other surveys that provide data that might shed more light on these subjects?