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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Will Jewish Vote Be Obama's Enemy In Swing States Florida And Pennsylvania?

But while Jews do say they plan to vote for Obama over Romney — by 51% to 43% in the June poll — they don’t seem to support him in numbers much greater than the general population.
Jewish Forward, Are New York Jews Abandoning Obama?, June 18, 2012

Jonathan Tobin connects the dots--the dots that connect the Jewish vote for Romney in New York in an election year with Florida and Pennsylvania:

...despite the Democrats’ claim the GOP is blowing smoke about making gains in the Jewish vote this year, Obama is in serious trouble among Jews. The question the president’s supporters have to be asking themselves after reading this poll is how different New York Jews are from those in the rest of the country, especially swing states like Florida and Pennsylvania, where the Jewish vote could be crucial in a tight election.
Of course, a major component in the decrease of the Jewish vote for Obama in New York is the increase in the percentage of Orthodox Jews there--a factor that is not being replicated in states such as Florida and Pennsylvania.

Nevertheless, according to Tobin:
  • We are seeing assimilation and intermarriage among the non-Orthodox leading to what may be the end of liberal Jewry being a dominant political force in New York and on the national level

  • Even granting that the percentage of Orthodox Jews is not as high in Florida and Pennsylvania as in New York--they are growing there too. Thus, even there Obama will be unlikely to capture the same percentage of the Jewish vote that as he did in 2008.

  • If the decline in the Jewish vote for Obama is merely in keeping with the general numbers that Obama is polling, that too is news--it indicates that general trend of liberal Jews voting more pro-Democratic than other segments of the population could be coming to an end.
Whether this kind of analysis is just a variation on the usual hopeful wishing that precedes every presidential election remains to be seen.

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