In a shift sure to impact American politics, a new study of the growing orthodox Jewish population shows that they are in virtual lockstep with the nation's conservative evangelical Christians, with 57 percent identifying with the Republican Party.
A new Pew Research Center survey published in the Jewish journal Forward found that orthodox Jews mirror evangelical Protestants and Catholics in their devotion to God, their politics and even how often they attend services.
"Orthodox Jews vote, believe, worship, act and raise their children more like white evangelical Protestants than like their fellow Jews," said the Forward.
"If the Orthodox grow as a share of U.S. Jews, they gradually could shift the profile of American Jews in several areas, including religious beliefs and practices, social and political views and demographic characteristics," the report added.
While currently just 10 percent of the overall Jewish population, Pew calculated that they are on an explosive population trend.
"The median age of adult Orthodox Jews is 40, compared with 52 among other Jewish adults; they are more likely to be married, they marry younger and have more children. And almost all those children are being raised Jewish, compared with 78 percent of other Jewish families," said the report.
Politically, a shift to more conservative views will impact American politics. Currently moderate to liberal Jews dominate and heavily favor and fund Democrats.
But that is not the case with orthodox Jews, said the report. From the Forward report on Pew's survey:
-- There are other ways in which Orthodox Jews are more similar to evangelicals than to their non-Orthodox co-religionists. Orthodox Jews and Christian evangelicals attend religious services frequently (74% and 75%, respectively), while only 12% of non-Orthodox Jews go to synagogue at least once a month.
-- The report shows that 89% of Orthodox Jews and 93% of Christian evangelicals believe in God with absolute certainty, while only 34% of all other Jews share this belief.
-- On Israel, 84% of Orthodox Jews and 82% of evangelicals believe Israel was given to the Jewish people by God, while only 35% of non-Orthodox Jews hold this view.
-- This pattern also plays out on the political level. Orthodox Jews and Christian evangelicals share an affinity with the Republican Party (57% and 66%, respectively, support or lean toward the GOP), as opposed to a mere 18% of non-Orthodox Jews who back Republicans.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.