That’s eight-point jump from June, which is also when the rest of the country started to peel away from Hopenchange. A sputtering economy will do that. I’m going to politely decline to play the “maybe this is the year we win the Jewish vote!” game for the simple reason that I’ve played it and lost too many times before. Even so, it’s worth flagging this in anticipation of the showdown at the UN next Friday when the Palestinians call Obama’s bluff and demand official international recognition of statehood. Some of you have suggested in the comments lately that The One might not veto that demand if it comes before the Security Council. Eyeball this poll and rest assured: Oh yes he will.
Obama’s approval rating among Jewish Americans is also down to 55 percent – a five point drop from his approval rating in June, which stood at 60 percent.
Together, the rise in disapproval and dip in approval ratings are a net negative 11 point downturn for Obama among Jews…
“For a while now, I’ve been hearing from my constituents a lot of dissatisfaction with the statements on Israel that have been coming from the president and the administration,” Rep. Eliot Engel, (D-N.Y.) told the New York Times this week. “He’ll still get a majority of Jewish votes, but I would not be surprised to see that drop 10 to 20 points.”
Bill Kristol’s and Gary Bauer’s group, the Emergency Committee for Israel, has put out a five-point plan for how O can prove he’s a pro-Israel presidency. (Point two is to oppose the Palestinian statehood bid by cutting aid if they pursue it.) Maybe that’ll work, but Republicans have been adamantly, vociferously pro-Israel across the board for a decade at least and that hasn’t helped much on election day. The White House is taking no chances after the washout in NY-9, though: They’re doing triage with Jewish Democrats by launching an outreach program and circulating talking points about everything that Obama’s done for Israel. You can laugh at that latter point now, but at the rate the Arab Spring is deteriorating, there should be plenty of opportunities over the next 14 months for O to bank goodwill with pro-Israeli voters by coming to Netanyahu’s aid. We have some (not much, but some) leverage over Egypt and Turkey, Israel’s newest antagonists, so we can help back them off if things start to get hot. In fact, Netanyahu praised Obama recently for his help with the Cairo embassy standoff. There’ll be more where that came from before next November.
Exit question: I know Drudge is having fun with it, but is it really a big deal that Henry Waxman said after the NY-9 wipeout that Jewish voters there broke for the Republican in part because they “want to protect their wealth”? Someone sent me the link to that story two days ago highlighting that quote and I didn’t bat an eye because it seemed obvious to me that Waxman was talking about taxes. People are naturally sensitive to any accusation made about Jews and “wealth,” for understandable historical reasons, but all this guy was saying, I think, is that people tend to vote their economic interests and the NY-9 electorate is no different. Wealthier voters should vote GOP, whether Jewish or not, given the Democrats’ endless table-pounding about repealing the Bush tax cuts. Waxman’s simply nodding at that.