I vote for the candidate who I think is best for the job. Basically I’m looking for someone who is interested in the economy and who is friendly with Israel.
In this year’s election that means former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
I think that Romney’s gonna be a better friend to Israel than Obama. He’s the only Republican I would have voted for.
Greenfield, a medical consultant, lives in Bethesda, Maryland. Three years ago he joined the D. C. chapter of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a pro-Israel political action committee. The organization’s website highlighted the poll. It also included a Pew Research Center report that said the percentage of registered Jewish voters who identify as Republican or leaning Republican went from 20 percent in 2008 to 29 percent in 2011.
Hank Sheinkopf is a rabbi and democratic political strategist. He doesn’t find the change that surprising.
The Jews have been the most reliable portion of the Democratic electorate after African Americans, so after 80 years it would not be unusual for people to change directions.
The strong party ties go back to the early 20th century. Democrats were seen as welcoming to minorities and immigrants, while the Republicans shunned them. As a result, the Democratic party won the Jewish vote in every presidential election since 1924. The habit was deeply ingrained, says Rafael Medoff, who writes for the conservative news outlet The Daily Caller.
The idea of voting for a democratic candidate was almost a part of their religion.
That’s no longer the case. Now the so-called “assimilated” Jewish population doesn’t necessarily see religious heritage as their primary identity. Instead they’re voting by the issues. The PRRI poll shows that Jews who identify as Republican agree with Republican stances on military strength and social policy.
Also, Medoff says the religiously conservative Orthodox community is moving heavily in favor of the Republican party.
For all Jews the protection of Israel is a key issue. Rabbi Jonathan Glass has worked at the Synagogue for the Arts in Tribeca for 22 years.
If the potential adversaries of the Jewish community are clear that there is a very strong Israel it tends to insulate the uh, broader Jewish community from any potential threats, but also it means that there is a refuge. That was the whole point of the state of Israel.
President Obama has been a friend to Israel. But many conservative Jews feel he should have been a better friend. If the 62 percent support indicated in the PRRI poll holds true in November, Obama’s support would be the lowest among Jews since the Democrat Jimmy Carter lost to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980. Rafael Medoff.
Then too you had a Democrat incumbent president who was perceived in the Jewish community as being unfriendly to Israel and ultimately the majority of American Jewish voters abandoned Carter.
Media consultant Hank Sheinkopf thinks it would be simple for Romney to build the Jewish vote.
All that Romney has to do is to show up with orthodox Jews as often as possible, to campaign as intensely as he can among them, but the problem is they’re really not worth doing that for.
That’s because most Jews live in states that are strongly democratic like New York and California. But Florida, Pennsylvania, and Ohio are swing states, and have large enough Jewish populations to have a potential impact on the outcome of the election.
Obama will also be fighting to maximize his support among Jews, like he did in 2008. Still, the fact remains that for the first time in many decades, the Jewish vote could be up for grabs.
Rachel Rogers, Columbia Radio News.