Friday, August 05, 2011

A huge stakeholder in Democratic Party racket, American Jewry puts its own swindles even before Israel's

Myths About the "Jewish Vote"

(Moment Magazine) -- by Nathan Guttman --

...• Myth: Jews are becoming increasingly Republican.

They aren’t. There’s a whole cottage industry of Jewish activists trying to prove either that Jews are turning Republican or that they are sticking to the Democratic side. Both groups are wasting their time.

It is true that Republicans are making small and steady strides into the Jewish community. The Republican Jewish Coalition is growing in influence, Jewish donors seem to be increasing their giving to Republican candidates (though it’s hard to tell), and polls show younger Jews becoming more open to conservative economic ideas. But take a look at the past three decades of exit polls, which are more reliable than pre-election polls, and the numbers are clear: Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic. In 1984, Jews voted 67 to 31 percent for Mondale over Reagan; in 2008, it was 78 to 21 for Obama over McCain. With time, the alliance between Jews and the Democratic Party could take a hit, but for now this is such a subtle trend that it really isn’t worth the volumes written about it.

• Myth: Jews can tip a swing state.

Rarely. The 2000 elections helped establish the myth that Jewish voters hold the power to decide a tight race. As election officials scrutinized ballots in Florida, some seemed to see an elderly Jewish swing voter behind every hanging chad. Florida remains an important battleground, and given the divided political makeup of the state and its large Jewish population, Jewish sun birds really can make a difference. Ohio is also a state where Jewish voters could play a role in a close race, although so far they haven’t. But the vast majority of Jewish voters vote in states that aren’t really in play, like New York and California, and their vote will hardly be noticed.

• Myth: Jewish money bankrolls election campaigns.

Maybe. It is commonly believed that more than half of political donations to Democratic races and more than a third of those to Republican races come from Jewish donors. Again, there are no hard numbers here, but counting the Cohens and Goldmans on campaign disclosure lists can give a strong impression that Jews are heavily involved in political giving.

But there are at least two caveats. With the Supreme Court’s relaxing of limitations on corporate advocacy donations, the Jewish proportion of overall donations is expected to decline. And the emergence of online giving as a major funding source could dilute the importance of large donors and bundlers.

• Myth: Israel is a deciding factor for Jewish voters.

Not true. Poll after poll, survey after survey, show that Jewish Americans love Israel and want their elected officials to support Israel, but don’t view this issue as decisive. Topping the Jewish voter’s priority list are economic and social issues. Israel is somewhere in the middle.

Not that Jewish voters don’t care about Israel. They do. They see it as a threshold issue, a requirement any candidate needs to satisfy before being considered. But that just means they need to know that their candidate supports Israel’s security, votes in favor of foreign aid to Israel and does not believe in a forced solution for the Palestinian conflict. This is a low threshold, which basically leaves in almost all politicians, with libertarians Ron and Rand Paul probably the only exceptions...MORE...LINK

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