Jewish vote in America…

From Haaretz, Feb. 6, 2008:

The Jewish vote: Obama carried Massachusetts, Connecticut
By Shmuel Rosner
Majority of Jewish Democrats will go along with the nominee, be it Clinton or Obama.
The Illinois Senator also came close in all states but New York and New Jersey. Some Jewish voters might be more apprehensive about him than others, but the majority of Jewish Democrats will go along with the nominee, be it Clinton or Obama.

1.

In New Jersey, where the Jewish vote was 9 percent of the total. Hillary Clinton won, as she did among Jews in almost all states in which the Jewish voters were analyzed separately before Super Tuesday: 63 percent for her, 37 percent for Obama.

2.

And there’s the more important New York. There was never a question that Clinton would win this state, but how about the large Jewish constituency?

16 percent of the vote was Jewish, and it went, also as expected, to Clinton. 65 percent voted for her, only 33 percent for Obama. This is better for Obama than he did in Nevada, but there’s an important difference: John Edwards is no longer in the race.

Since Jews in Nevada – and in Florida too – voted for Obama in similar numbers (in Florida, just last week, it was 26 percent for Obama), one might assume that the Jews who supported Edwards moved to Obama, and not to Clinton (she got 58 percent of the Jewish vote in Florida).

3.

And how about Massachusetts?

In this state, especially in Boston and the area around it, there are also many Jews. They constituted 6 percent of the total vote. But there’s a surprise here. Or maybe not. The more liberal Jewish community is the one that voted for Obama and not for Clinton. The margin is small, but nevertheless, it is the first time that he wins among Jewish voters – 52 percent for Obama, just 48 percent for Clinton.

Clinton was happy today to be able to win Massachusetts, a state in which both Senators Kennedy and Kerry, who endorsed Obama, reside. But she wasn’t so lucky with Jewish Massachusetts. An achievement for one of the most visible of Obama’s Jewish supporters, Alan Solomont (I mentioned Solomont in Democrats woo Jewish, minority vote as primaries heat up a month ago.

4.

This article was originally written before the predictions for California were made (update: Clinton won), but after the exit polls were made available on the web. And Obama came very close in California.

The Jewish vote in this state was 5 percent of the total, and also went to Clinton, but the margin was small – 48 percent for her, 44 percent for Obama (8 percent voted for no-longer-a-candidate Edwards).

A long while ago I wrote that many Jews would vote for Obama, especially the younger generation. With all the brouhaha about him and Israel, and Farrakhan, and the smear campaign, and the emails and all the rest, Obama has many Jewish followers, and will have even more if he wins the nomination.

Some Jewish voters might be more apprehensive about him than others, but the majority of Jewish Democrats will go along with the nominee, be it Clinton or Obama.

5.

Need more proof? Massachusetts is not the only state in which Clinton lost the Jewish vote. Take a look at Connecticut. Obama won the race, and the Jewish vote. In fact, he won impressively.

Jews were 10 percent of the vote in Connecticut, and Obama got 61 percent of it. Clinton got only 38 percent. An Obama campaign aid reacted to these numbers tonight in this fashion: “We are proud of our support across the spectrum of all voters, including the Jewish community. Barack Obama’s message of bring change to Washington, ending the War in Iraq and strong support of Israel resonates well in the Jewish community.”

And here is why they can be proud: In Arizona, Obama also came closer to winning the Jewish vote than he did in the past (this means he lost). 51 percent to Clinton, 44 percent to Obama (the Jews made up 5 percent of the vote).

And here is another way to look at it: Clinton won the Jewish vote handily in her backyard (New York and New Jersey), but did not have such luck in other places. She won some, and lost some, but the margin in all places but those two backyard states was not significant.

6.

Did you wonder about Jewish Republicans?

They are more a myth than a reality.

In New York, they make up 4 percent of the voters (Jewish Democrats are 16 percent). In California 2%. In New Jersey, 3 percent of the total vote (Democrats 9 percent) are Jewish. In Massachusetts, the number is also 3 percent (6 percent for Jewish Democrats). We had similar percentage in Florida (3 percent).

Exit polls don’t deal with such small numbers of voters, so we do not know who they voted for. But we know they could barely make a difference.

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