Sunday, August 12, 2012

Romney's VP Running Mate Paul Ryan And The Jewish Vote

Obama's negative campaign will go into overdrive, now that Romney has announced that his running mate will be Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Democrat's scare tactics have already begun.

A side question is how Romney's choice will affect the Jewish vote, which has not been as strongly pro-Obama as in the 2008 election. While there's no reason to see Ryan as an actual draw for Jewish votes, there is the question--as Jonathan Tobin writes: Will Ryan Help Obama Win Jewish Votes?:
Democratic plans to demonize Ryan will find a ready audience among liberal Jews. Obama’s questionable record on Israel was never going to affect the votes of a majority of Jews. The issue was not whether Obama could hold onto more than 50 percent of Jewish votes, but how much of the 78 percent he got in 2008 would he be able to retain. The most optimistic estimates of the Democrat vote will keep him in the mid-60s, with his share of Jewish ballots in Florida probably being even lower. But Democrats are hoping that some of those Jews defecting from their ranks will start to slink back to Obama due to fears over the future of Medicare. Just as a loss of 10 to 25 percent of the Jewish vote could make the difference in Florida and perhaps even affect the outcome in Pennsylvania or Ohio if the election is close, a backlash against Ryan could also be decisive.
Tobin thinks that the issue of Romney's pick of Ryan and the Democratic use of Medicare scare tactics is not as black and white as many think:
  • Jewish voters most vulnerable to Medicare scare tactics were already going to vote for Obama anyway

  • On the other hand, the minority of American Jews who consider Israel’s security a priority will not be so influenced by Democratic scare tactics on Medicare.

  • Jews are capable of figuring out that the only way to save Medicare is to face the issue head instead of preserving the status quo.

  • "A lot of those Jewish grandmothers and grandfathers who care about Israel may just decide they like Ryan a lot more than Obama."
In the days and weeks leading up to the election, we'll see if the Democrats have underestimated the Jewish vote or not.

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