With the Kadima primaries just a day away, Ynet and the Gesher Institute explored which of the party's chairmanship hopefuls - Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit – is perceived by the Israeli public as closest to tradition and Judaism.
Gesher, with the assistance of the Panels Center, polled 511 people who represent a statistical sample of the public.
In a somewhat surprising result, Monday's survey found that Interior Minister Sheetrit is perceived as most observant (58%). Mofaz came in second with 24%, while 12% said they thought Livni was closest to the faith and only 6% thought the same of Dichter.
The results' religious segmentation showed that Sheetrit was seen as the candidate closest to Judaism across the board, with 41% of the pole's ultra-Orthodox participants voting him as such. Only 2% of the haredi sector said they thought the same of Livni.
As for the candidates' appeal to the various age groups, 44% of those 18 to 20 years old said they favored Mofaz as the candidate closest to Judaism. In all other age groups over the age of 20, Sheetrit held the lead, followed by Mofaz, Livni and Dichter.
As for any halachic problem which may arise from a woman presiding as prime minister – as Livni is one of the party's two leading candidates for the position – the consensus was that there is no problem to contend with, as 85% said it would pose no halachic quandaries.
An additional 10% said there might be several halachic issues which may have to be resolved if Livni is elected, but added that it was up to Jewish law to adapt to the times. Only 5% of those polled said having a woman prime minister was utterly against halachic law.