Posted on February 4, 2012, 12:00pm
Conservatives, especially religious ones, are the best friends Jews have. What has taken American Jews so long to figure this out?
Washington Examiner – Though still overwhelmingly Democratic, significantly more Jewish voters now identify as Republicans than did so before President Obama took office, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.
In 2008, Pew found that 72 percent of Jews identified as Democrats and just 20 percent as Republicans. In 2011, that shifted to 65 percent to 29 percent, marking a 16-point narrowing in the net margin. Part of that has to do with an overall move toward the Republican party in the past three years. But not all of it. Republican gains among Jews were the biggest among any religious group other than Mormons.
“For most religious groups and for the public as a whole, the trend toward the GOP has come from people who are increasingly likely to say they lean toward the Republican party,” the Forward quoted Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew, as saying. “Jewish voters are really the exception.That’s the one religious group we’ve analyzed where the shift toward the GOP is not among leaners, but rather among actual Republican identifiers.”
Obama’s hostile stance toward Israel is one posible reason for the erosion of support for Democrats among Jewish voters, and the issue was a major factor in Democrats losing a New York City Congressional seat last September.
But it’s unclear how much of a difference this will make in a presidential race. Generally, states with the biggest Jewish populations are overwhelmingly Democratic anyway (ex. Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Washington, DC). The vote could make a difference in Florida, but during the Republican primary just one percent of voters were Jewish, which was down from three percent in 2008.