For more on the Jewish vote in the 2012 presidential election, yesterday we listened in to “The Jewish Federations of North America Teleconference Series on the 2012 Presidential Election,” featuring Lynn Sweet, Washington Bureau Chief at the Chicago-Sun Times, and Ron Kampeas, Washington Bureau Chief at the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA). In light of Mitt Romney’s win in Florida, the two experts focused on the important issues for Jewish voters today: the economy and foreign policy. Kampeas recalled Romney stating he would stand “shoulder to shoulder with our allies [in Israel],” whereas Obama has openly criticized Israel on its settlement policy. Yet Kampeas believes that as long Obama is “pro-Israel enough,” Jewish voters will not be deterred from re-electing him. Relations with Iran are also an increasingly important topic—Kampeas predicted voter focus will only shift to this matter if oil prices spike, but also noted that Republican candidates have been taking a more negative stance than Obama. Kampeas and Sweet later discussed Mitt Romney’s proposal to privatize Medicare, and said Jewish support would require Republicans to present a strategy that would protects seniors despite Medicare cuts. Both agreed that the economy is the most important issue to Jewish voters. Sweet suggested that the only way to guarantee an Obama loss in the fall would be if the unemployment rate rises above nine percent before the election. Still, both Sweet and Kampeas predicted that Obama would win more than three-quarters of the Jewish vote—roughly the same rate as in 2008.
Nuclear talks with Iran are resuming. Absent from the table will be the United States, which dropped out of the nuclear deal in 2018.
In every Israeli election since 2015—we’ve had four now, and in 2021 are headed toward a fifth—the average Israeli voter has one main thing in mind when he or she decides whom to vote for: Do I want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to keep his job?
The latest news came late last week. Morocco has joined the growing list of Arab countries upgrading their relations with Israel. This list now includes the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.
Despite a failed reelection campaign, Donald Trump and his team registered several notable gains this election season. Trump slightly increased the share of Black and Hispanic Americans voting for him, alongside an impressive turnout from a small but well-organized subgroup: Orthodox Jews. According to polls and estimates, more than 80 percent of Orthodox Jews cast their vote for Trump, making them one of his most approving constituencies in the nation.
Two weeks have passed since election day, and there’s nothing anyone wants more than to put this whole thing behind us. But before we do so, we need to settle the least important question of these elections, yet the one most likely to come up during your (virtual) Thanksgiving, Passover or whatever family dinner table: How did the Jews vote?