Will 2014 be the year that Jews support the GOP?

posted at 6:31 pm on August 31, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

This is a perennial question which has flummoxed Republican strategists for years and continues to defy conventional political logic and planning. While it is impossible – and politically perilous – to attempt to take any American demographic group and treat them as a homogenous block, on the major issues of the day one would think that the GOP would be a natural fit for the majority of American Jews. When you look, in particular, at which party provides the staunchest support for Israel, there really is no comparison. A host of other topics appear to be a good fit as well, as Zev Chafets observes in an editorial for Fox News.

The American Jewish community – white, assimilated and prosperous – is out-of-place in a Democratic Party determined to build a coalition around an appeal to racial gender minorities, unmarried women, the LGBT community, immigrants and the dependent poor. And while the Jewish community is shrinking because of low birthrates and intermarriage, its Orthodox wing – strongly pro-Israel and socially conservative – is gaining in numbers and self-confidence…

All this, according to some conservative pundits, has created a tipping point. In November, they say, Jews could turn out in key congressional elections, especially in Senate contests, and vote for Republicans who have made support for Israel a signature issue. And in 2016, fed up with Obama’s chilly attitude toward the Jewish state and his weakness in the face of Islamic aggression, Jews could abandon their traditional affiliation with the Democrats and give their energy, their contributions and their votes to the Republicans.

Sounds good, right? This is a sunny, optimistic view which has trapped more than a few campaign managers across the country. And to be sure there are a number of highly respected Jewish community leaders, bloggers and business people who are very vocal supporters of the GOP and their support of Israel. So does Zev think that this is finally the year when the rank and file will assemble along the same lines?

I hate to rain on anybody’s inaugural parade, but this is sheer fantasy.

Jews are not simply supporters of the Democratic Party; they are at the heart of everything from union leadership to campaign funding, think-tank policymaking to grass roots organizing…

The fact is, the great majority of American Jewish Democrats see their party and its agenda as their secular religion. Reform Judaism, America’s largest Jewish denomination, is sometimes jokingly called “the Democratic Party with holidays.” A lot of Jews would sooner convert to Shia Islam than leave the party of their forefathers.

I wish I had all the answers to these questions and could make a case that Zev is wrong, but I can’t. We struggled with the same things in New York during the 2010 campaign, working vigorously with leaders in the Jewish community, reaching out and looking for a foothold. We lost the Jewish vote in a landslide.

I think some of the assumptions which Zev notes as common knowledge in his piece are also somewhat hollow. For example, I believe that it’s true that the lion’s share of American Jewish voters are strong supporters of Israel. But it’s equally true that these are not single issue voters, and that one policy stance alone is not enough to get them hoisting a new flag. Further, Chafets’ characterization of Jews as white, assimilated and prosperous is not only a generalization, but borders on offensive. There are plenty of folks in the Jewish community who are struggling in a tough economy just like everyone else, and policies which benefit the economically successful don’t automatically become a winning, bread basket issue for them.

Still, it always sounds like the Jewish vote would fit far better with a conservative alliance than with the liberals. Why doesn’t it happen? I wish I could tell you. Is it about to change in 2014? I think Zev is probably on the money here, I’m afraid. I wouldn’t bet the ranch on it.


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Sir, I can understand your beliefs. Your identity has been pursued and decimated for the last 2000 years, with Christians in no small part doing much of the damage.

It may take another 2000 years before our cultures can mutually trust each other. But trust comes not by words but by deeds.

Hopefully it will take less than 2000 years to show we are trustable.

itsspideyman on September 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

Jewish hostility towards Christianity dates back to the times of Christ. And I don’t think the Talmud has many complementary things to say about Christ or Christians. So instead of groveling and apologizing, why not unapologetically seek to the pursue Christ and the interest of His church.

antifederalist on September 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I think that you are ignoring reality. American Jews are probably the most highly educated people in the US. They are not at all ignorant about Islam. Many Jews are hostile towards Christianity and most likely see evangelical Christianity as a bigger threat than Islam. They most likely fear the 10s of millions of Christian voters in the US who want for the US to return to being a Christian nation more than Muslims halfway across the globe.

antifederalist on September 1, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Historically Jews lives were better when living under Arabs, There was a long time when Arabs considered themselves brothers with Jews because of Ismael, But the reality right now is that Christians are far better friends to Jews than Arabs, it will take some time until it catches up to most Jews

Bush actually got about 70% of the orthodox Jewish vote, so there is hope in the long run, The good news is that orthodox Jews are the fastest growing bloc of the Jewish vote, the bad news is that they live mostly in NY & NJ (although the older they get they move to Florida)

Another stupid reason might be, and my grandfather actually shares that nonsense, that because the republican party is being represented as the party of white men, it does remind him and probably some other older Jews of the White men who murdered them in the millions not long ago, (he knows its nonsense but he still believes it)

OrthodoxJew on September 1, 2014 at 11:16 AM

Hopefully it will take less than 2000 years to show we are trustable.

itsspideyman on September 1, 2014 at 10:51 AM

You are giving them too much credit and taking too much of the blame on yourself.

Cleombrotus on September 1, 2014 at 11:21 AM

SO WHAT HOTA AIR YOU DIDN’T LIME MY COMMENT.

Bambi on August 31, 2014 at 8:54 PM

Hey, this is HotGas. We do not lime comments, we carbonate them.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on September 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Will this wind…be so mighty…as to lay low…the mountains…of the earth?

No. No it won’t.

connertown on September 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

antifederalist on September 1, 2014 at 11:04 AM

The Talmud doesn’t say much of anything about Jesus because he’s a nothing to Jews. In his time-false messiahs were a dime a dozen. He was just one of many. Most Jews would’ve never given a thought to another one.
Y’all do your thing.
We’ll do our thing-and work together on those things/ values that our faiths share.
Thanks.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Actually, that’s not quite true. There are passages in the Talmud that do refer to Jesus.

Cleombrotus on September 1, 2014 at 1:17 PM

It still amazes me that American Jews vote blindly for the Democrats. We have an Administration who is openly anti-Israel. Obama rudely leaves Netanyahu sitting in a room by himself while he goes to dine. Hamas poster boy Jimmy Carter continues spewing anti-Israel venom in his senility. The Golfer in Chief treats the leader of Israel like dirt and American Jews keep voting for the party of the jackass. Now that’s “Tradition”!!!!!

Krupnikas on September 1, 2014 at 1:24 PM

The answer is no. But Jews are such a small slice of American voters that the answer ought to be, Who cares?

The GOP won seven presidential elections from 1968 to 2004, often by commanding margins, without needing the Jewish vote. Reagan blew away Mondale in 2004, for example, despite winning only 31 percent of the Jewish vote. Two out of three Jews voted for McGovern over Nixon. Four out of five voted for Gore over Bush.

Only two percent of voters in the 2012 presidential were Jewish. In raw numbers that means about 2.6 million out of 130 million total U.S. voters. 69 percent of Jewish voters (1.8 million) cast their ballots for Obama and 30 percent (780,000 voters) for Romney. I don’t have a state-by-state breakdown, but I’m sure many of those Jewish votes were cast in states like New York, California, and New Jersey.

To put those numbers in perspective, Romney lost the election by five million votes. So even if every single Jewish voter in the country voted for Romney, he still loses by a million and a half votes.

And I think we all realize that it’s unlikely in even the best scenario for the GOP candidate to win even 50 percent of the Jewish vote, let alone 100 percent of it. Had Romney won 50 percent of the Jewish vote in 2016, his overall vote total would have gone up by a measly 520,000 votes.

So forget about it. The Jewish vote ain’t important.

Pincher Martin on September 1, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Cleombrotus on September 1, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Shy Guy and others would be more versed on this than I am-but from what I know-the ‘suffering servant’ mentioned in Isaiah etc-was ISRAEL. Jesus means nothing to Jews-though some of us really like/ love some of his followers.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 1:39 PM

The fundamental reason Jews (or for that matter many other groups) vote against Republicans is because they hate Christianity. The sad fact is that this has hurt them as well as Christians. A classic example being communist Russia where the group that they supported slaughtered them in the end.

As to why evangelicals support Jews, it is because God says so. It is not dependent on Jewish reciprocity. And the evangelicals receive much more love directly from God in return.

CoolAir on September 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

But Jews are such a small slice of American voters that the answer ought to be, Who cares?

At about 1%, homosexuals are an even smaller slice. But if you listen to the democrats and their media, you would think they’re 50%. It should be “WHO CARES” for both.

Alabama Infidel on September 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

The fundamental reason Jews (or for that matter many other groups) vote against Republicans is because they hate Christianity.

CoolAir on September 1, 2014 at 1:46 PM

I think it’s more fear than hatred. Historically, in Europe, there was a perfect reason for Jews to fear Christians. For some reason, Jews haven’t adapted to Christianity in the United States, which is entirely different; we still think we’re on the shtetl and the gentiles are going to beat us and murder us.

I’ve said this many times before. If you give American Jews a multiple-choice question: A Jew should be afraid of (a) Christians, or (b) Muslims. The answer “(a)” deserves no credit.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 1, 2014 at 2:04 PM

So the billions of dollars in “aid” the US government provides to Israel isn’t support?

antifederalist on September 1, 2014 at 10:54 AM
====================================================

This myth that the US supports Israel financially is pretty weird among people that are supposed to be conservatives that understand economics:

A. Over 70% of all “aid” to Israel goes directly to US military companies in the US

B. The amount of money that the US has spent on Europe (Marshall plan and 60 years of military protection), and the Arabs/Islamists 60 years of protecting the oil shipping routes, disregarding the trillions in the past 13 years in Iraq, Afghanistan (and the lives of US military personnel), and Japan/Korea for over 60 years — All that money dwarfs the money spent with Israel.

C. Israel has been during the Cold War and after the outpost for the US, protecting US interests in the regions.

The idiocy on this subject never ceases to amaze me… Conservatives are supposed to be able to do 8th grade math

georgealbert on September 1, 2014 at 2:10 PM

Regardless of the past, the present certainty of Jewish fanatical Dem support is clearly its continued antiGod obsession continuing their rejection of Him in Matthew 27:25 “Then all the people said, His blood be on us, and on our children.” The great irony of all the Jewish carping about it supposedly being antiSemitic to point out them as accomplices in Jesus’s crucifixion is that it’s actually honoring them with adult responsibility for their murderous actions, something they’re quite hypocritically very big on insisting on for Nazis. Pilate was earnestly looking for an excuse to free Jesus rather than crucify Him but the Jews rejected that approach, regardless of whether or not they were stirred by their leaders as the Nazis were by theirs. This antiChristian bigotry is of course in no way uniquely Jewish, as practical atheists like clearly deranged apostate clergyman Darwin, have shown, but there’s a unique hostility Jews for Jesus and other Christians who have tried to share the Good News about Jesus’s salvation for them among them have experienced and noted, e.g. the funerals they hold for Jewish converts to Christianity where the sometimes physically violent rage in such circumstances CAN resemble and has resembled the bloodthirsty Islam religion of “piece” (not peace!) in its ferocity. God save us. As the Founders knew and warned, wwithout Jesus as Lord America is surely lost, Jew or Gentile!

russedav on September 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Anecdote:

After the 2012 elections, I asked the woman who gives me most of my work, why she and her husband voted for Obama, again.

Essentially, their answers boiled down to this, and this is a quote: “I’m just tired of rich white people having all the advantages.”

Now, her husband is a long time Democrat activist who boasts
that he and his cronies were responsible for Shaheen’s victory in New Hampshire, the first Democrat woman governor.

This conversation occurred in their apartment on 5th Ave. They also have a home in the Hamptons. They are rich, white, and Jewish.

I interpreted the “white” in their response as “Gentiles”.

Was I wrong to do so?

Cleombrotus on September 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

About the importance of the Jewish vote: it has never been more than a few percent of the electorate. But right after WWII it was concentrated in older Eastern industrial states (NY, PA, IL) that at that time had a much larger proportion of electoral votes so it was considered more significant. At the same time you have to wonder what extent it was really in play, i. e. most Jews were going to vote Dem anyway. In any case at that time the Dems were more favorable to Israel than Republicans.

Those states have fewer electoral votes now and Jews are more dispersed so their (our) voting influence is more in line with the small percentage of the population. However since Jews are more affluent on average they tend to donate more and be more activist so there is still some “extra” influence. But I don’t think Republicans are really counting on Jewish votes and/or donations; when they support Israel it is more to solidify support among evangelical Christians who strongly support Israel. Dems may eventually have a reckoning though as their increasingly dominant left maintains its hostility to Israel. The info above about Canadian Jews moving right gives some hope but it will take a while.

FOAF on September 1, 2014 at 2:17 PM

russedav on September 1, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Dude, I had a plan to turn Jews into Republicans, but you just set it back about 1000 years. Thanks.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 1, 2014 at 2:19 PM

It still amazes me that American Jews vote blindly for the Democrats. We have an Administration who is openly anti-Israel. Obama rudely leaves Netanyahu sitting in a room by himself while he goes to dine. Hamas poster boy Jimmy Carter continues spewing anti-Israel venom in his senility. The Golfer in Chief treats the leader of Israel like dirt and American Jews keep voting for the party of the jackass. Now that’s “Tradition”!!!!!
Krupnikas on September 1, 2014 at 1:24 PM

Most of the Jews who practice Judaism, have halachically Jewish kids and grand kids and are very Israel involved already vote republican.
Most American Jews are JiNOs who would’ve become Catholics in 1492 Spain .
The far better community perished in the Shoah

There, I said it.

avi natan on September 1, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Attila:

Jews haven’t adapted to Christianity in the United States, which is entirely different; we still think we’re on the shtetl and the gentiles are going to beat us and murder us

Maybe a little exaggerated but there is a lot of truth to this. One of the remarkable things about being Jewish is that you are part of a tradition that goes back nearly 4000 years. However sometimes all that history is oppressive and can blind you to current reality.

Persecution of Jews long predates Christianity. A number of Jewish holidays (Passover, Hanukkah, Purim) commemorate some event when someone was about to wipe us all out. And then another such event happened again not too long ago in the 20th century. So no matter how good Jews have it they are always looking over their shoulder to some extent.

FOAF on September 1, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Persecution of Jews long predates Christianity. A number of Jewish holidays (Passover, Hanukkah, Purim) commemorate some event when someone was about to wipe us all out. And then another such event happened again not too long ago in the 20th century. So no matter how good Jews have it they are always looking over their shoulder to some extent.

FOAF on September 1, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Totally true about the history, but look at the history of Jews in America. About 360 years. One lynching (Leo Frank). One pogrom (Crown Heights). A bunch of social anti-semitism, sure. But there’s nowhere in the entire 2000 year history of the diaspora where things have been so great for Jews. Not even close. So why are secular Jews afraid of Christians? They’re fine with left-wing Christians like the Presbyterian Church, Jimmy Carter, and the religious BDS movement, for some reason. But they’re afraid of the pro-Israel philo-semites who make up a large part of conservative Christians in America. I just find the whole thing frustrating — voting or no voting.

Attila (Pillage Idiot) on September 1, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Nothing to do with christianity.

Many reform/liberal jews are married to christians, some occasionally go to temple, albeit temples with choirs, organs, and ‘rabbis’ that could guest host on MSNBC. They re-interpet the torah as they do the US Constitution. They don’t read hotAir or in depth news, just drink the koolaid along with most die hard dem voters.

Almost all orthodox jews are completely indifferent to prosteltyzing, support Israel, and vote very conservative, D or R but mostly R, in their own and America’s interest.

Nothing to do with ideology either, never was. The same self deluded majority was passively herded into trains, insisting that there were ‘work camps waiting for them despite the choking smoke from death camps; they danced around a golden calf waiting for their pharoh to come forgive them for escaping slavery, etc.

So as every ethnic culture is condemned to any of its inherent negative traits, the majority of jews suffer from self destruction and denial and vote D without much thought. The only time there is any thinking, and any agreement as a bloc, is when the lefties are huddled together with the conservatives in small spaces with outside forces trying to kill them.

Rea1ityCheck on September 1, 2014 at 2:35 PM

IMO Conservatives are better supporters of Israel than your basic non-Orthodox American Jew.

katiejane on September 1, 2014 at 2:51 PM

Rea1ityCheck on September 1, 2014 at 2:35 PM

I’m a returnee-so I’m married to a Christian.
The only temple here is small and uber-liberal.
There are Christians and muzzies here.
I could possibly see my son going B’al T’shuva someday.
I dress modestly and try to keep kosher as much as I can here.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

At about 1%, homosexuals are an even smaller slice. But if you listen to the democrats and their media, you would think they’re 50%. It should be “WHO CARES” for both.

Alabama Infidel on September 1, 2014 at 1:57 PM

You won’t get any argument from me on that point.

Pincher Martin on September 1, 2014 at 3:17 PM

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Jesus in the Talmud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiuD5gvy0F8

Cleombrotus on September 1, 2014 at 3:44 PM

If the Jews in Israel voted they would be solidly Republican, but the Jews in the US are so liberal and entrenched in the Democratic party they wouldn’t even think of supporting the Republicans. Free abortions and birth control are their priorities.

leader4hru on September 1, 2014 at 3:44 PM

A bunch of social anti-semitism, sure.

When I was growing up in Hartford, CT there were three major country clubs – Protestant, Catholic and Jewish. Of course my family couldn’t get into any of them (but my parents had friends in the Jewish one).

You can see how backwards this was – no Muslim country club!!

FOAF on September 1, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Rea1ityCheck on September 1, 2014 at 2:35 PM
I’m a returnee-so I’m married to a Christian.
The only temple here is small and uber-liberal.
There are Christians and muzzies here.
I could possibly see my son going B’al T’shuva someday.
I dress modestly and try to keep kosher as much as I can here.
annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Sponsor a Chabad house

avi natan on September 1, 2014 at 3:51 PM

As for Jewish attitudes towards Christians, the negativity is focused almost entirely on *evangelical* Christians:

Pew poll on religious attitudes

As this shows, Jewish attitudes towards Catholics and even Mormons are pretty much in line with the rest of the country. The reason for the dislike of “evangelical” Christians has to do with Jewish resistance to proselytization which brings up a lot of the bad historical memories talked about here. Look up the meaning of “supercession”. Evangelical implies trying to get people to convert. I suspect that if conservative Christians were even described in the poll as “fundamentalist” it might get a couple points higher among Jews. Unfortunately even the strong evangelical support for Israel does not offset this which buttresses my point about Jews’ historical memories often being too strong.

FOAF on September 1, 2014 at 4:12 PM

The Jews are like the Saudis….The Saudis pay lip service to the fight against terror but behind the scenes they are winking and funding the sponsors of such in hopes of being eaten last..The Jews fund left wing advocacy groups :NARAL,ACLU,NPR,Unions,trial lawyers….in hopes that the Left will not explore their nepotism , crony capitalism and over representation in the Media, Law, Finance,Hollywood and government.They will never vote Republican.

sirpatrick on September 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

Every Jewish person I’ve ever known was a staunch democrat, with absolutely zero room for entertaining an alternate opinion and none of them owned guns or thought they should be legal.

It is interesting.

Tard on September 1, 2014 at 5:13 PM

sirpatrick on September 1, 2014 at 4:44 PM

There are REPUBLICAN/CONSERVATIVE Jews that comment HERE!
I’m one of them.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 6:18 PM

Member of tribe, it is your duty to attempt conversion from within!
Go! GO! We are already enlightened!

Haha

Tard on September 1, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Tard on September 1, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Lefty Jews worship the god of liberalism-not the G-d of Abraham.
Can’t help there.

annoyinglittletwerp on September 1, 2014 at 7:19 PM

It’s a shame people won’t put aside party and or religious concerns and just do what’s right for our country and way of life.

KMC1 on September 1, 2014 at 7:48 PM

I wouldn’t bet on it either.

When I was growing up, my family members told me the story of the St. Louis. They recounted for me how 937 Jews who had escaped Nazi Germany were turned away from every port and were forced to return to Europe, where a quarter of them were eventually murdered under Nazi occupation and in concentration camps. That story, along with other Jewish refugee stories, such as the Kindertransport, has stuck with me. They have informed my understanding of what it means for refugees to desperately seek safe harbor. What it means for refugees to be embraced. And what it means for refugees to be denied.

The Jews are quite sensitive to this wedge issue.

http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/the_immigration_debate_children_at_the_border

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM

unclesmrgol on September 1, 2014 at 9:35 PM

That doesn’t explain why they hate the GOP. From that account I would assume they would hate America in general, but what we are seeing is that they hate conservatives and Conservatism, especially given the fact that it was a Democrat administration which was responsible for turning them away.

No, I still think their resentment of Christian America best explains the phenomenon.

Cleombrotus on September 2, 2014 at 6:56 AM

Cleombrotus on September 2, 2014 at 6:56 AM

It’s why they align themselves with the Democrat Party. They both share the same antipathy towards all things good and sacred, even to the point of making common cause with Muslims.

Cleombrotus on September 2, 2014 at 2:15 PM

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