In 2008, Barak Obama managed to attract 78 percent of the Jewish vote on Election Day.

He does not seem poised to achieve the same level of success on Nov. 6th, as Princeton University’s Ben Koons explains in a post that also discusses Jewish conservative activism on campus:

Despite his May 2011 speech about Israel-Palestine negotiations based on pre-1967 borders, it seems unlikely that President Obama will lose the Jewish vote in 2012. However, the Jewish population of the United States is becoming increasingly conservative. In a 2008 Gallup poll, half of Jews in all age groups identified as liberal, but among those under 35, nearly twice as many (29 percent) identified as conservative as among older Jews (16-17 percent). The younger generation of Jews is still generally liberal, but moderates are losing out to conservatives. The only Jewish Republican in Congress, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), shines as one of the bright lights of conservatism in Washington and represents a hope for more conservative Jews in the Republican leadership.

Koons interviewed Jewish conservatives on Princeton’s campus. He discovered that faith only played a small role in forming their political viewpoints on all subjects except American foreign policy in the Middle East.

Jews on campus tend to be more interested in big-tent conservatism and economic issues than social issues like abortion and gay marriage. While there are several Jews among the membership of the Anscombe Society and Princeton Pro-Life, none currently hold leadership roles…American foreign policy regarding Israel unites politically active Jews on campus across the spectrum. Jews predominate in Tigers for Israel (TFI), and an outspoken conservative contingent attends board meetings. However, Democrats have served as president of the group for the last few years. As current TFI president, Ben Jubas, described the club’s political breakdown, “A strong group is conservative, though it’s pretty evenly split. A lot of people unite under a general sense of support for Israel.”

Koons concludes the following from his extensive interviews:

From my informal survey of Jewish conservatives on campus, it seems clear that their political activism should be seen more as the victory of ideology over identity politics than the ongoing struggle to win over demographic groups. As [former College Republican President Brian] Lipshutz put it, “Jewish conservatives on campus certainly identify as Jews and conservatives, but one of the great things about conservatives is that we don’t buy into liberal identity politics.”