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The Jewish Vote, Do The Numbers Make A Difference?

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The Jewish Vote, Do The Numbers Make A Difference?

With nearly 60 percent of the money raised by the DNC donated by Jews, it’s no wonder that some people – black-listed as anti-Obama - were escorted away from Ambassador Susan E. Rice’s speech at B’nai Torah synagogue.

Thursday, May 10th, US UN Ambassador Susan E. Rice spoke before an audience of 400-500 at B’nai Torah synagogue in Boca Raton, Florida. The event was sponsored by some rather ‘liberal’ Jewish groups; the ADL, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Community Relations Council of South Palm Beach County.

Rabbi David Steinhardt, the senior Rabbi of the synagogue is no stranger to Obama. According to reports and a You Tube video on the event, Steinhardt has ties to Obama going back to the 2008 campaign and was asked by Obama to host the event.

The 4 minute video “Shame”, explains that a “black list” was created in order to keep known anti Obama Jews and people from the event. It shows people being told to leave and when they asked why, they were told “because I’ve asked you to leave and that’s the reason” and then they were escorted off the property by law enforcement.

About 2 dozen pro-Israel people who managed to get in to hear the speech by Rice were escorted out by police during her speech. In what way did they disrupt her speech? Were they screaming or yelling?  No, they waved little Israeli flags while she was speaking.

An article in the New English Review explained the ties that Rabbi Steinhardt has to Obama and the Muslim Brotherhood,

Dr. Rice, a member of the Obama cabinet was introduced by the Conservative Synagogue’s senior rabbi, David Steinhardt, an enthusiastic booster of President Obama and his policies towards Israel. The rabbi also conducts “outreach” to Florida’s Muslim Brotherhood front groups.

This story was the topic of my radio show ‘America Akbar’ last week and one of my regular listeners, Rabbi Nachman, called in to explain that after some research on his part, he found that the Jewish vote is so small in number “that if you take all of the Jewish vote and give it to one candidate it would make no difference in the election”.

Well, far be it for me to argue with a rabbi, but I had to look up these numbers for myself, after all, the rabbi is making a good point given that American Jews number approximately 6.5 million, or only 2 percent of the country, how much do the numbers really matter?

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) conducted a survey just a few weeks ago on this very subject.  The survey went much further than just who the Jews will vote for, it broke it down in to eleven topics,

Presidential Vote by Issue Priority

The survey did of course explain the bottom line,

While 61 percent of Jews report that they would vote for Obama if the election were held today and Romney were the Republican candidate (28 percent would vote for Romney, 11 percent are undecided).

More American Jewish women (67 percent) than men (55 percent) would vote for Obama if the election were held today against Romney.

The survey explains that even after 3 ½ years, an overwhelming number of Jews still approve of Obama’s and the Democrats’ handling of National Security,

Overall, 69 percent of American Jews approve of the way President Obama is handling national security, and 60 percent believe that the Democratic Party is more likely than the Republican Party to make the right decisions on national security issues. However, among the 26 percent of Jews who cite national security as one of their top three issue priorities in the 2012 election, only 52 percent say the Republican Party is more likely to make the right decisions regarding national security.

But getting back to the Rabbi’s point, do these numbers even make a difference in the overall vote?

I found an article, “The Jewish Voter” by Stephen Richer from last August that broke down the numbers for us. Richer is a director of a DC-based nonpartisan think tank, and he is the President and Chairman of RK Research, he also directs – an event aggregator, news service, and social rallying point for young professional Jews.

He explains some interesting numbers in his article, even though Jews make up only 2 percent of the country,

The Jewish Voter, however, can be as large as 4 percent of the voting population given its very high turnout rate.

The article explains that although a small number, the Jewish vote can be important in ‘swing’ states,

Given the small population of the Jewish Voter, many outside observers question whether the Jewish Voter has any effect on the larger political ecosystem or national presidential elections. The question is debated, but most scholars feel that the Jewish Voter is important at the margins of presidential elections through its ability to tip swing states. Most conspicuous among these swing states is Florida.

He notes other articles on the subject that breakdown the numbers as well,

As noted in a Slate article on the subject, “In Florida, Jews make up around 5 percent of the voting population—more than enough to swing a close race.” And Anat Hakim, writing for the Los Angeles Times, identifies “nine states where the size of the Jewish population was larger than the size of victory for either President Bush or Sen. John Kerry in 2004: Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.”

So it would seem that in close races the Jewish vote can make a difference. One only has to think back to the Bush, Gore race of 2000 and the ‘hanging chads’ dispute of Florida that ended up at the Supreme Court.

One thing that I noted to the rabbi that we agreed on was the “wealth” of the Jewish vote and how important it is to any candidate’s campaign. The Richer article explains that as well and gives some astounding numbers as to the donations,

The importance of the Jewish Voter is also elevated due to its wealth. Ron Kampeas, writing at The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, claims that “estimates over the years have reckoned that Jewish donors provide between one-third and two-thirds of the party’s money.” Similarly, David Freedlander noted in the New York Observer that “According to some estimates, nearly 60 percent of the money raised by the Democratic National Committee is donated by Jews, and any drop in support for the president’s re-election could endanger the campaign’s ambitious goal of $1 billion.” Steven Windmueller at The New York Jewish Week claims that “Jewish donors have generated as much as 45 cents of every dollar raised by Democrats and provide a growing base of support for Republican candidates.”

With “nearly 60 percent of the money raised by the Democratic National Committee donated by Jews” anyone can see the importance of the ‘Jewish vote’ and the desire by Obama to appear pro-Israel with the upcoming election.

The reason Jews are by far Democrats has been argued by scholars on both sides for years and would need to be an entire separate article, but the fact remains that Jews have always voted for the democrat as explained by the numbers,

Only once in the past 80 years has the percentage of Jews Voters favoring the Democratic candidate dropped below 50 percent (Carter, 1980). But even in that year, more Jewish Voters went for Carter than his Republican challenger Ronald Reagan.

With the amount of times I have stated “that Obama is becoming Jimmy Carter faster than Jimmy Carter did” since early 2009, I can only hope that this year’s election follows in the footsteps of the Jewish Carter vote.

I spent over an hour and a half on last Thursdays show stating facts of Obama, his views, comments and actions towards the Jews, Israel and Muslims as well as his ties to the Muslim Brotherhood going back to before he was the Senator from Illinois.

I know many Jews have awakened to the truth, but I also know many who have said that, even though they won’t be voting for Obama this November, they won’t bother to vote at all. That to me is just as frightening.

The Florida vote in 2000 showed us how important each and every single vote can be. The population of Jewish voters in Florida is in the top 3 of Jewish populations by state and the fact that it is a swing state makes it all that more important.

States with the highest proportion of Jews:

Rank State Percent Jewish

1          New York 9.1

2          New Jersey    5.5

3 Florida 4.6

As the Richer article pointed out in the end,

For every commentator advancing one idea about the Jewish Voter, there is likely another expert suggesting the opposite. The only poll that will really tell us where the Jewish Voter is going is the actual election in November 2012, a date not too far away.

Comments (8)
  • Reese

    The numbers don't lie. Just wished there was a way to shake those still thinking that BO admin is a good one for America, Israel, National Security, Financial Security, heck...on all counts of all issues, he is simply not right. Thanks for yet again, another great eye opening article.

  • Rabbi Nachman  - To Clarify

    Good article, Gadi. To clarify my position, I wanted to put into place the reality of the numbers when it comes to the Jewish vote. There is so much attention being placed on the Jewish vote as if it is some huge voting block that determines the outcome (the old ZOG [Zionist Occupied Government] idea). In other words, we have a terrible President, so blame it on the Jews. I should have prefaced my remarks by saying that the Jewish vote has never changed the outcome of any Presidential election in the National Popular Vote. I stand by my original assertion that if you took all the Jewish votes and gave it to one politician or the other, it would not have changed the (and what I should have said) the Presidential popular vote. With that said, your study is correct. If we take into account the demographics of certain states, what the Jewish vote can do is sway the Electoral vote in those states, thus it does have an influence on the outcome. However, let's look at the Electoral votes. Based on Electoral votes NY, NJ and FL (and what the heck, let's throw in CA as well) represents a total of 128 votes out of a total of 538 (or aprox. 24%). It takes a minimum of 270 Electoral votes to become President NY, NJ, FL & CA representing 47%. So, in a hotly contested election, is it really the Jewish vote that drives the result, or is it the fact that the states with the most Electoral votes are (with the exception of Texas) consistently Democratic?

  • Ronald Simon  - man????

    I can't believe that the jewish vote are more willing to vote for obama after his actions with Israel and eith Obamas connections with the muslim brotherhood. It looks like the jews have forgotten the holcust. Prior to the holicust in germany and the apesement that the europeans did, they didnot believe hiltter would do what he would do; after all they believed they were germans first and Hitler would not do anything with the them.
    here again we have jews believing they are americans, but they don't believe that Obama will throw them under the bus.
    What i want to tell the jews is that if they vote for Obama they vote for the distruction of the american republic that allowed them to live frss. :pirate:

  • ann  - every vote counts

    It isn't just the votes that we have to get changed to protect Israel and save this nation. Its the knowledge of their actions that you are getting out there for the long haul. People have to regain the states and local governments. And the have to see the plan. Gadi, just a suggestion. You said you want questions. Sometimes they don't know what to ask. could you post 'the plan' and explain it to them?

  • Susan  - The bigger picture?

    While I have not done the research, it seems as though less than 50% of registered voters are regular voters. This may skew the influence of the Jewish vote somewhat. Factor in that young people who voted for BO in '08 may be disillusioned by the lack of jobs, and are more likely to stay home this year. If we could get to those young people and empower them to help make a change, things may turn out differently! We should not ignore them, but educate them! :)

  • Vito  - Great Article

    Great article Gadi! More Jewish Israel experts, like yourself need to speak out as you are doing, regarding Sheik Obama's Pro Islamic agenda. Obama is disingenuous regarding his pro Israel stance. Since being elected president of the U.S. he's given $1.3 billion plus a recent $174 million to rebuild Gaza and to shore up the Palestinian "economy" should give each and every Jewish American pause. They know Hamas controls Gaza and Hamas has been responsible for the terror reigned on Israel. If American Jews really believe in their homeland, they should not tolerate the funding of a State Department listed Terror Group - Hamas, being funded by Sheik Obama. I won't even get with the 43+ devout muslims Obama appointed in his White House administration.
    Keep up the great work Gadi!
    Mama Mia No Sharia!

  • EMA  - decidedly decided

    Yes, I'm angry - I may not cast my vote come November, but your enlightening article may change my mind by then!
    It's difficult to separate the chaff from the wheat - I find it hard to believe half (or less) of the rhetoric coming from D.C. I for one would like to see ALL those in power in Washington to be fired and a whole, entire slate put into place! THEN I wouldn't hesitate to cast my valuable vote.
    I must mull this over - my indecision regarding a vote in November will come in the coming months....let's see how Romney behaves - regarding Israel, Jews, and those of us who have high hopes regarding the future of our beloved U.S. of A.!!!!!
    Continue enlightening us, Gadi - you do a fantastic job of it!

  • morty62

    Hey Gadi ...Going by that graph what stares out at me is that Jewish voters are overwhelmingly to the left when it comes to social/cultural issues like abortion, health care, and social security, outweighing what should be the extremely important issue of Israel's security and continued existence. The final category is even more telling. Over 90% of Jewish voters favor Obama when it comes to church/state relations. Being a religious minority in this country, Jews appear very leery of electing candidates who wear their religion on their sleeves, which is what most GOP candidates have done ever since Reagan was elected in 1980. If it simply came down to U.S./Israel relations or the Iran nuclear issue the vote is almost split down the middle. Explanation? If you look at prominent Jewish cultural figures like authors Philip Roth and Bernard Malamud, comedian Lenny Bruce, filmmaker Woody Allen and many others, most tend to be very liberal. Saul Bellow is one of the few prominent Jesish writers who was culturally conservative and he was roundly criticized for his views by other Jews (Noam Chomsky for one). From this I conclude that unless the GOP fields candidates who are willing to put cultural conservative values on the back-burner and move to the middle on such issues as health care and Social Security there is little chance of any meaningful support from Jews for the Republicans.

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