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Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Jewish Vote In The 2014 Midterms And What It Means For 2016

Exit polls from Tuesday's midterms indicate the GOP is increasing its support amongst Jewish voters. The polls report that 33% of Jewish voters supported Republican candidates while 66% went to the Democrats. In 2006 (the last midterm exit polls that sampled enough Jewish voters to be analyzed) only 12% of Jewish voters selected Republican candidates (the low vote was largely motivated because of opposition to the Iraq war). Also interesting is that while they are a tiny piece of the population (2%) Jews represented 3% of voters, in other words they tend to turn out and vote.

According to the Republican Jewish Coalition the 2014 GOP Jewish vote was historic:
Since 1982, the historical average for the GOP in mid-term elections among Jewish voters has been 26%. The range has a low of 18% in 1982 and a high of 33% this year. In each of the last two 
One reason for change in allegiance may be that Republicans are more supportive of Israel than Democrats (remember the "catcalls" from those at the DNC in Charlotte when they tried to add back one of the four pro-Israel provisions to the Democratic platform?).

 A recent Pew study conducted during the first week of Operation Protective Edge (7/8-14) and released on Tuesday reports support for Israel among Americans remains strong. What has changed is the gap between Republican Party supporters (73%) and Democratic Party supporters (44%) is wider than ever.

Another motivation for the switch is President Obama's anti-Israel policies.

The Jewish vote in Presidential elections has seen three major shifts in the past 40 years. The first occurred during the reelection campaign of Jimmy Carter, the second Bush 41 race, and most recently Barack Obama's reelection. Those three Presidents were the most anti-Israel in the modern history of the Jewish State.

Carter received less than half the Jewish vote when he ran for reelection in 1980 (45%), Reagan received 39% of the vote and independent candidate John Anderson received about 15%. The elder Bush caused a downturn in the GOP Jewish which lasted until his son's administration. During Bush #41's tenure, relations with Israel got so bad Secretary of State James Baker was reported as saying " F**k the Jews they wont vote for us anyway." For his reelection bid Bush #41 generated only 11% of the Jewish vote (down from 35% during his first run).

President Obama is the first of the three anti-Israel presidents who won reelection, but his policies has driven down his support from Jews. In his first election in 2008 Obama earned 78% of the Jewish vote. It fell to 69% in 2012 and now 66% in the 2014 midterm which was largely seen as a referendum on Obama's policies.

Obama's second term has been more anti-Israel than his first and based on the signals being sent it is sure to get worse (and that is no chickenshit)

As we start moving toward the 2016 election the time is ripe for the GOP to make a real effort to reach out to Jewish voters.  I am not talking about the Republican Jewish Coalition, which does a great job for what it is, but this effort needs to be part of the RNC itself.

Jews have a fear of Israel becoming a wedge issue and losing support of one party because of the other. Therefore the GOP reach out cannot be we are pro-Israel and they're not, but it needs to be a more stealthy effort. It also can't use a lot of funds.  Face it raising the Jewish vote from 30 to 45 or even 50% cannot be a priority for the GOP, but it can be done based on Obama's policies and that with the possible exception of the time from her first campaign for New York’s Senate seat in 2000 to her resignation from the Senate to become Secretary of State in January 2009 (when she needed New York’s Jewish voting bloc, Hillary Clinton has never been pro-Israel.

So how do they do it. With each Anti-Israel act from the White House (and they are becoming more frequent) GOP congressional members not only need to criticize the President for abandoning Israel as an ally but also to publicly wonder why their Democratic colleagues for not criticizing the President's anti-Israel actions. Right now the only constant loud voice coming from the GOP is Ted Cruz and it has to be broader than that.  Cruz is running for president and it has to be seen as more of a broad GOP response than a presidential campaign effort.

A great example of how the GOP missed an opportunity was the recent "chickenshit" incident.

Debbie Wasserman Shultz Chairman of the DNC, who traveled the country in 2012 proclaiming that Obama was a friend of Israel never offered criticism of the "chickenshit" comment. Neither did Sen. Chuck Schumer who never met a TV camera he didn't love. He didn't love cameras or Israel enough to speak out. Jerrold Nadler who shows up to speak at every pro-Israel rally in NYC he can find didn’t show up when it counted. Even Steve Israel the exiting chairman of the DCCC another supposed friend of the Jewish State who was on TV every day bashing members of the Tea Party didn’t use at least one one of those appearances to voice displeasure for the "chickenshit" remark. Despite the fact that many of them claim to support Israel, with the exception of Rep. Elliot Engel (D-NY), none, not one of the 240+ Democratic Party members of the House or Senate has had the guts to speak out.

On the other hand GOP Chairman Reince Preibus issued a statement condemning the remarks as did Republicans in both houses of congress such as Lindsey Graham, John McCain, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Ted Cruz, and Republicans slammed the chickenshit remarks. What they didn't do is use a TV appearance to criticize the comment and call on their Democratic Party colleagues to join them in condemning the comment. That little addition would have sent the message home.

A few weeks before the chickenshit remark, when the White House criticized Israel , not for constructing new homes but for allowing Jews to purchase homes in East Jerusalem a Republican spokesman should have gone on TV asking what other areas of the world does the Administration believe Jews shouldn't be allowed to purchase homes. Nobody criticized the Obama government for ignoring written assurances given to it by the Bush Administration binding U.S. policy in allowing natural expansion of settlements in the West Bank and new settlements in Jerusalem. Israel made concessions based on those assurances which were unilaterally broken by Obama and Clinton.

The opportunities are there and in the end it can help the 2016 effort, not nationally but in the key battleground states with big Jewish Populations such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada and even possibly in New Jersey, the Jewish vote can play an important role.

The Jewish vote represents a good opportunity for the RNC:
  • The Jewish vote is small but they are strong turnout voters and they are concentrated in key battleground states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Nevada.
  • Republicans are increasing in their support of Israel, Democratic support is declining.
  • Obama is being even more anti-Israel in his second administration.
  • The Jewish vote shifts significantly in response to an anti-Israel presidents.
  • The GOP can accelerate that shift by criticizing Obama for his anti-Israel acts AND pointing out the other side is silent.
  • Hillary Clinton has support in the Jewish community, but horrible credentials when it comes to Israel.  An effort such as this will force her to choose between the Democratic base as she pivots left to get the nomination, and the traditional Jewish voter and donor base.
Keep in mind, along with Jews, this type of effort will motivate Evangelical voters.


Jeff Dunetz said...

We need to "out-Jew" the ..uh actual Jews in support of our greatest ally in the middle east after Obama has continually put Israel in danger.

Jeff Dunetz said...

Why do so many Jews support Liberal Socialism? If the Liberal Socialist ever established their dictatorship in the USA, Jews would be the first to suffer, as they did when the National Socialists came to power in Germany! It's an enigma to me, that Jews have long had a propensity toward Socialism of various forms. Yet in every case, Socialism sets-out to destroy the Jews!

Jeff Dunetz said...

two reasons...first until the 1960s the conservative movement was Anti-semitic (Pat Buchanan is the last vestige of that segment). Secondly its a mis-interpretation of what the Torah says about charity. They forget that it is a personal rather than a governmental responsibility.

Jeff Dunetz said...

Excellent analysis, and I would add this: it's not just the Jewish *vote* that can help, but Jewish $$'s. That is, Dem's benefit from major Jewish fundraisers - how mice would it be if some of that went to the Pubbies?

Jeff Dunetz said...

There is a direct correlation between practicing Jews and dabbling Jews (bagel & lox eating); the former will be more inclined to vote Republican, the latter, leaving behind their patrimonial central moral code, Democrat.

Jeff Dunetz said...

The RNC keeps asking for money, but I still don't know what they do. Their answer is always that they work behind the scenes.
If they're faces aren't seen, then the community doesn't know they're

Jeff Dunetz said...

What I can't understand is why Jews like Lois Lerner helping government oppression of free speech and in the context of their history why they are comfortable with groupthink and restriction of opposing views. I would expect them to be more libertarian. When Jewish socialist is a redundant phrase that's an issue and quite frankly allows doubts about "American-ness" to creep in.

Jeff Dunetz said...

I keep thinking that the American Jewish community will gravitate to the conservative side of the American body politic; but it's taking too long for my taste.

Jeff Dunetz said...

Stick with the store that delivers what you are paying for.

I guess.

Jeff Dunetz said...

Jewish voters did not do all that much for the Jews in Europe or Israel during the first half of the last century, they worried about being accepted! Now that they have become major players within the Democratic party, they have gone all the way to the Left, enabling a fringe group of hysterical Marxists to dominate the talking points. Jews got no business being anywhere near the democratic Party. One must be a moron not to see it coming after the circus show on the floor of the Democratic Convention-2012. When Zeev Jabotinsky came to Poland, 1938 and implored the Jews to flee, the Socialists (The Ben Gurion crowd with its many ugly branches of collaborators) they put him down, called him Vladimir Hitler, a Facist, a war mongering demagogue, same tactics used by the nasty democrats during the elections of many senators, and Governor Romney. Jews must get in their heads that the democratic Party banks on minorities for votes, to replenish the diminishing numbers of Jewish voters, and even white voters they want to flood the country with millions of illegals, and Jews can go to hell!

Jeff Dunetz said...

I'm a strong support of Israel but it's difficult to maintain that position in the face of Jews abandoning it as they have for so long. If YOU don't care, why should we?

Jewish support for Dems just makes no sense.