Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Obama and the Jewish Vote

Gateway Pundit has an interesting post about Obama and the Jewish vote. Make no mistake, Jews in the U.S. are heavily Democratic.
According to the survey, 56 percent of American Jews define themselves as Democrats, 17 percent as Republicans and 25 percent as Independent.
One would expect then for them to favor Obama and they do. But his support is far lower than that of other previous Democratic candidates.
While Obama leads McCain by 27 percentage points in the survey, his numbers pale in comparison to those received by Bill Clinton, Al Gore and John Kerry. Some claim that fraudulent rumors and e-mails suggesting Obama is Muslim have affected his standing. However, Republicans prefer the theory that since the September 11, 2001 attacks, American Jews have begun to rethink which policies are safer for them and for Israel.
Gateway Pundit links the relative lack of support to Obama's church activities. Certainly images of his church magazine cover with Obama sharing the spotlight with the likes of Fararkhan don't help.

But I think the post misses one of the key events that could have lead to his relatively low numbers among Jewish voters--the idiocy with the U.N. and the protest of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad. The Democrats played hardball with the organizers and had Sarah Palin uninvited. The results was a poor turn out (less than 2000 people) and many of those that did show up came to support Palin. While the media did its best to paint the picture of mock-outrage at the Republicans for this, the savvy Jewish voter likely saw things differently.

Palin came to support the Iran protest. After it was politicized by the Democratic Party, the protest was a bust. Ahmadinejad appeared at the U.N. where he gave an antisemitic speech to applause from the assembly and hug from the General Assembly President Brockmann. That cannot sit well with Jewish voters that are paying attention.

Will these relatively low numbers affect Obama in any meaningful way in the light of the current economic crisis? That remains to be seen. But it does probably push Florida towards McCain which under normal circumstances would be a significant factor.

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