Jewish Voters Are Not Defecting Obama for McCain
by Jonathan Singer, Thu Oct 23, 2008 at 05:02:30 PM EDT
We have this conversation every four years, and have had it for longer than I've been alive -- are Jewish voters on the verge of defecting the Democratic coalition? Of course the evidence for this trend, which is apparently always on the horizon, is scant. But nevertheless, every four years, the punditry, goaded on by smooth talking Republican strategists, plays the role of the concern troll and wonders whether Jewish voters would be joining the Republican coalition. Well wonder no longer.
Jewish voters nationwide have grown increasingly comfortable with voting for Barack Obama for president since the Illinois senator secured the Democratic nomination in June. They now favor Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, 74% to 22%.
The Obama/Biden ticket is poised to perform about on par with other recent Democratic presidential tickets when it comes to support from American Jewish voters.
The nomination of Sarah Palin, who as recently as two weeks before she was added to the GOP ticket had attended an address by the founder of "Jews for Jesus" and who (to put it lightly) is not very attuned to the concerns of Jewish Americans, certainly did a great deal to help assuage the concerns of the few Jewish voters who had previously been reluctant to back the Democratic ticket this fall. The general trend within the electorate did a great deal to help move the Jewish vote, too (as The Solomon Project [.pdf] has shown, Jews tend to move with the electorate, albeit about 30 points more Democratic than the nation as a whole).
But more than the specifics, this polling provides an yet another opportunity to call to question some of the wholly unfounded and unsubstantiated prattling of pundits this campaign season. Barack Obama can't win Hispanics, they said (though he's actually beating John McCain by better than a 2-to-1 margin). Obama can't unite the Democratic Party, they predicted (though he's pulling in a greater share of Democrats than McCain is pulling in of Republicans). Obama might be the first Democrat to lose the Jewish vote. How wrong were they. As I asked earlier today, isn't it about time for the establishment media to put on those who understand today's electorate and political environment, not those who are stuck in a reality that went the way of the car phone and Beverly Hills 90210 (well, the original one, at least)?
This polling also gives me the opportunity to pass on this ad, which is apparently running these days in Florida -- and specifically the part of the state that is really Flahrida.