Democratic Registration Edge Among Jewish Voters Grows 9 Points
by Jonathan Singer, Mon Oct 23, 2006 at 06:26:13 PM EDT
If I've said it onceI'vesaiditathousandtimes: Jewish voters are not moving to the Republican Party en masse. In fact, the latest polling indicates that American Jews are moving even closer to the Democratic Party, not away from it, according to a survey from the American Jewish Committee. David Goldenberg has the details over at the NJDC blog.
Earlier today, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) released its 2006 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion showing that the number of Jewish voters identifying themselves as Democrats has increased from 48 percent to 54 percent since the last mid-term election in 2002. At the same time, the number of Jewish voters identifying themselves as Republicans has decreased from 18 percent in 2002 to 15 percent in 2006.
"These numbers reaffirm what we have been saying for so long. Jewish voters just don't feel comfortable with the Republican Party," said NJDC Executive Director Ira Forman. "Most recently, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) spent a million dollars in a 'devoid of truth' campaign to divide the Jewish community and convince Jewish voters to switch their party affiliation. All they have to show for it is a three percent decrease in the number of Jews who consider themselves to be Republicans and a six percent increase in the number of Jews who are now Democrats. If this is what you get with $1 million in RJC ad buys, I hope that they spend $2 million in 2008."
The AJC survey also shows that the number of Jewish voters who identify themselves as liberal has increased from 37 percent in 2002 to 42 percent in 2006. In contrast, the number of Jewish voters who identify themselves as conservative has decreased from 29 percent to 25 percent during the same time period.
No major surprises here, though claims that Jewish voters would leave the Democratic Party as a result of Joe Lieberman's defeat in the party's Senate primary in Connecticut in August were hasty, at the least, and more likely wholly without merit.
As long as the Democratic Party continues to fight for progressive issues like civil rights, civil liberties, education, the environment, etc., it's just not going to be the case that Jewish voters are going to leave the party -- regardless of the posturing of the Bush administration on terrorism and Israel.