Jewish Voters Sticking With Obama, Despite Conservative Crying About Israel
If you had only been paying attention to headlines and opinion writers lately, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Obama was losing some sort of public relations war over Israel. Mainstream conservatives have been accusing him of shirking the all-important neocon ally, the DNC had itself a little to-do over the removal of Jerusalem from its platform, other Jennifer Rubin columns, and so on. The implicit warning from conservative quarters was that Obama was finally in danger of losing reliably Democratic Jewish voters, a small but crucial bloc neocons have been after for years.
President Barack Obama is closing extending his lead with Jewish voters, leading among registered voters 70-25 percent according to unreleased Gallup daily tracking poll data.
The data, obtained through a Democratic source, shows Obama up from leading 64-29 in polling this spring — and on par with his 2008 performance at this point when he led 69-25 over John McCain in Gallup polling. The data is drawn from tracking polls taken between July 1 and September 10th. (via)
Haaretz points out:
The rise in Jewish support for Obama, seems to indicate that American Jews are less concerned with Israel than might be thought. [sic]
They said it, not me. This is not just important to the national election, which Romney has for all intents and purposes ceded, but down ballot as well. We all remember this bullshit, right? In the Democratic quest to keep Congress from becoming a quagmire of obstinacy for the next four years, they need to hold on to all the seats they can; stray Jewish voters returning to the Democratic fold may save only one or two seats, but two years ago, one or two seats was the difference between health care and no health care.
The refusal of Jewish voters to cross party lines also speaks poorly for the Republican party in the long term. Sayeth Zeke Miller:
Despite a heated debate on Israel, most Jewish voters are Democrats and align closely with the Democratic Party on domestic issues from abortion to taxes and spending, and Republicans have tried without success for years to pry the group away from the Democratic Party.
In isolation, this doesn’t seem like such a big deal. Combine it, however, with the GOP needlessly antagonizing the increasingly important Hispanic vote, and smaller communities like Indian-Americans, and you have a different story. Via Robert Farley:
The bulk of Indian-Americans seem to behave very similar to the bulk of Jewish Americans, voting Democratic by large margins. Elite level coalition builders of this sort seem congenitally incapable of understanding just how goddamn scary mainstream Republican rhetoric is for minority voters.
The GOP is well positioned to cleave off certain segments of the voting population—their strident pro-Israel tic being a perfect opportunity—but can’t close the deal because of their noxious social policies. Combine this further with the fact that they weed out their own members based on stupid bigoted litmus tests, and you have a party that’s escorting itself to the margins of the mainstream.