Thursday, November 09, 2006

87% of Jews vote Democratic (YNet)

The fact that a majority of American Jews voted Democratic in the 2006 elections is not surprising news, but it appears that the proportions were even more lopsided than usual.
American Jews expressed flagrant support for Democratic candidates for Congress, contributing to a turnaround in the House of Representatives. According to a CNN sampling of voters, 87 percent of Jewish voters voted Democrat.
This was the highest percentage of support for Democrats since the Republicans took over Congress in 1994.
So maybe there's something to this rumor about our being smart?

Two points in the report below especially struck me.
Additionally, the number of Jews in Congress is expected to increase: Bernie Sanders (Independent [& self-described democratic socialist --JW]) from Vermont and Ben Cardin (Democrat) from Maryland will raise the number of Jewish Senators from 11 to 13 out of 100 - in a nation where Jews comprise only 5 million of the 300 million person population [i.e., 1.7%].
There are some 25 Jewish representatives in the House of Representatives [5.7%], several of whom are expected to chair important House committees in the future.
No, contrary to widespread belief in some parts of the world, this doesn't mean that we run the US. But it's one more indication that we're living through one of the real Golden Ages of Jewish history here.

An "elections expert" is quoted explaining that Jewish voters were influenced by a variety of concerns and concerns, and were not single-mindedly focused, for example, on Israel. However, the key part of the relevant sentence is really the opening clause:
Jews didn't vote for anti-Israeli candidates [....]
I know this infuriates a lot of people, too. Well, as Nasser used to say about the US in his speeches, may they choke on their fury.

Yours for democracy,
Jeff Weintraub

[P.S. 11/10/2006: All estimates of the number of American Jews are approximations, since the Census has never asked about this kind of information. I wondered whether the figure of 5 million cited in the article below was too low, and I gather from Charles Kadushin, whose expertise in such matters is greater than mine, that the correct figure is indeed more like 6 million, or about 2% of the population. I am reassured to know we're not shrinking as quickly as some might think.]
====================
YNet News
November 8, 2006
87 percent of Jews vote Democrat

Democratic Party wins largest percentage of Jewish support since 1994. Elections expert: Jews voted for candidates good for Israel, but also focused on other issues

Yitzhak Benhorin

WASHINGTON -
American Jews expressed flagrant support for Democratic candidates for Congress, contributing to a turnaround in the House of Representatives. According to a CNN sampling of voters, 87 percent of Jewish voters voted Democrat.

This was the highest percentage of support for Democrats since the Republicans took over Congress in 1994.

The Republican Party tried to frighten Jewish voters during the election campaign, primarily with their ads in Jewish newspapers, but no one was buying.

In this election, Jews voted for candidates they thought would be good for Israel, but not necessarily the ones who would be the best for Israel, said Steve Rabinowitz, an elections expert who served in the White House during the Clinton era.

Jews didn't vote for anti-Israeli candidates, but also didn't ignore other issues important to them: the war in Iraq, the economy, immigration, the environment and abortion, he explained.

One of the Democrats' biggest assets was Rahm Emanuel, the Chicago-born son of former Israelis, who chaired the Democratic Congressional Campaign.

Emanuel, who served as a Clinton political advisor in Washington, endorsed conservative candidates for conservative states such as Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky and, thus, succeeded in achieving a political upset in traditionally Republican areas.Additionally, the number of Jews in Congress is expected to increase: Bernie Sanders (Independent) from Vermont and Ben Cardin (Democrat) from Maryland will raise the number of Jewish Senators from 11 to 13 out of 100 - in a nation where Jews comprise only 5 million of the 300 million person population.

There are some 25 Jewish representatives in the House of Representatives, several of whom are expected to chair important House committees in the future.

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