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POST MORTEM

Jewish Support for Obama Dropped, Just Not Far Enough

According to the RJC, there was an increase by nearly 50% of the number of Jews choosing the Republican candidate to run this country.

romney 12

Photo Credit: YY

In a series of exit polls conducted during Election Day, Tuesday, November 6, 2012, the Republican Jewish Coalition found that Jewish support for the President dropped from 78% in 2008 to 69%.

Matt Brooks, the executive director of the RJC said, “The results demonstrate that President Barack Obama and the Democrats saw a significant erosion of support from 2008, while Republicans continued their trend of the last several decades of making inroads in the Jewish community.”

According to the RJC, there was an increase by nearly 50% of the number of Jews choosing the Republican candidate to run this country.  The percentage of Jews voting Republican jumped from 22% to 32% nationally.  This ten-point gain is the largest leap from the Democratic party by Jews since 1972.

In a call today to members of the media, former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer pointed out that while the percentage of young and of Blacks voting for Obama dropped by three or four percentage points, the 10 % drop amongst Jewish voters is conspicuously large.

The survey, a national sample of 1000 Jewish voters, as well as a 600-person sample of Jewish voters in Ohio and a 600-person sample of Florida Jewish voters.

“The RJC is encouraged by the gains we made in 2012 and by the continuing movement in the Jewish community toward the GOP. Despite the discouraging election results, we’re pleased by the gains we have made in the Jewish community,” said Matt Brooks.

Of the 1000 voters in the national poll, 48.9 % said they are Reform Jews, and only 11.9 % are Orthodox, while about 20 % said they attend synagogue at least once every week.  Almost 14 % said they never attend synagogue, even for the high holidays.
For 21.5% of those polled, a full 21.5 % said that Israel is of no importance to them, while 76.5% said they consider Israel to be either very or somewhat important.
Only respondents who said they were Jewish were included in the poll results.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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112 Responses to “Jewish Support for Obama Dropped, Just Not Far Enough”

  1. Anonymous says:

    70% of Jews in the US voted for Obama.
    85% of American Jews living in Israel voted for Romney.
    Election results show a grave DISCONNECTION between US and Israeli Jews: a sign of a deeper disconnection.
    ONCE AGAIN we see that "the fleshpots of Egypt" do not only affect the economic aspects of Jewish existence: idolatry is ALSO [as Our Sages of Blessed Memory, since the Neviim, teach] to bow down to [and be enslaved by] foreign ideas, and other Peoples' riches, stones, wood, etc.
    This shows that it is not just secular Jews who are the culprits:
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/161821

  2. Anonymous says:

    Most US Jews DID NOT vote putting at the center of their concerns the People of Israel, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.

    I wonder if they remember what they say when they get married: "If I forget you, oh Jerusalem"…which doesn't mean giving lip service to Jerusalem…

    Our Sages of Blessed Memory teach that: whoever doesn't put Erets Israel at the center is as if he did not have a G-od.
    See a shiur in this regard in English at http://e.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?cat=562&id=10931&q=.

  3. Anonymous says:

    For those who read Hebrew there's a much better one at: <http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=4740&gt; , with MANY MANY sources from TaNa"Kh and Talmud, sources which you won't hear from galut rabbis, those who – to use the words of Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, the ChID"A, zt"l, the shaliach of the Hebron community in Italy – "stay outside of Erets Israel because they fear they'd be just unknown and anonymous in Erets Israel"

  4. Anonymous says:

    For those who read Hebrew there's a much better one at: <http://www.yeshiva.org.il/midrash/shiur.asp?id=4740&gt; , with MANY MANY sources from TaNa"Kh and Talmud, sources which you won't hear from galut rabbis, those who – to use the words of Rabbi Chaim Yosef David Azulai, the ChID"A, zt"l, the shaliach of the Hebron community in Italy – "stay outside of Erets Israel because they fear they'd be just unknown and anonymous in Erets Israel"

  5. Grave Disconnect as Orthodox Leaders Refused to Support Romney.

    70% of the Jewish population voting for Obama may show a grave disconnect between Israel and the Jewish population abroad.

    AAFont Size

    By Annie Lubin.
    First Publish: 11/7/2012, 4:41 PM.

    Is there a disconnect among world Jewry?

    Flash 90

    As election results have been confirmed and statistics from national polls emerge, showing that American Jews overwhelmingly supportedBarack Obama – with 70% of the Jewish population voting for Obama – questions emerge about the the true sentiments of this population towards Israel and the possible disconnect between Jews in Israel and those abroad.

    David Bedein, founder of the Israel Resource News Agency and Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research finds the disconnect between the religious in Israel and the U.S. particularly startling, saying many Republican supporters were shocked by the refusal of Orthodox leaders to throw their support behind the pro-Israel Mitt Romney.

    "Those who think that Orthodox Jews supported Romney and secular Jews supported Obama are wrong. This is simply not true," said Bedein. "In New Jersey they established the organization 'Rabbis for Romney,' and they turned to all sectors of Orthodox Jews, and there are a million Jews like that, but their rabbis refused to join."

    In his opinion, Jewish support for Obama indicates a grave detachment from the land of Israel.

    Rabbi Ben Rosenberg, who established Rabbis for Romney, said to me: "We approached the Young Israel organization, which represents hundreds of synagogues, we approached the Council of Rabbis in the U.S., the Chabad organization, Agudath Israel, all of them refused – they told us they wanted to protect their ties to the current government. We need to understand that the difference (in votes for) Obama and Romney was very slight in the key states, and if those rabbis and leaders would have done something, if they would have emphasized how dangerous Obama is for Israel, it would have changed the entire picture and Romney would have been put in the White House."

    Bedein believes that Orthodox Jews who put on tefillin and pray three times a day but voted for Obama, pose contradictory questions based on their behavior. "He is the President who did terrible things, who appointed anti-Semites, who supported Islam and here there are Jews who pray three times a day, who learn daf yomi (Talmud page), who have close relatives in Israel and they vote for Obama. All this should inspire us to think about the relationship between the religious in Israel and the religious there and why there is such a disconnect."

  6. There is no question there was far too much name-calling—and worse—during this.
    election cycle. While we will, almost by definition, continue to consider those.
    among our colleagues who support an opposing candidate to be wrong, we should.
    not consider them the embodiment of evil.

    I, who opposed President Obama because I consider him dangerous to virtually.
    everything I hold dear, understand that his rabbinic supporters see things.
    differently than I do. I do not consider Obama’s supporters to be “evil.” I.
    think they are wrong. I hope my fears will be proven groundless, but, like most.
    observers in Israel (some very public; others much more quiet), I sadly do not.
    think this will be the case.

    My opposition to Obama’s policies and programs and my efforts to defeat them.
    will not abate. Given freedom of speech in this great democracy, I expect.
    Obama’s supporters among my colleagues to endorse my right to pursue these.
    efforts, just as I endorse their right to support him. RABBI DR. BERNHARD
    ROSENBERG

  7. Obama wins. This is what I PREDICTED ALL ALONG. WE NEED A DYNAMIC ORGANIZATION TO REPLACE THE REPUBLICAN JEWISH COALITION. We need to develop rabbis with batzim, kahoonas that will speak out.. I AM READY FOR THAT CHALLENEGE. ORTHODOX RABBIS WERE TOO TIMID OR NOT WILLING TO JOIN Rabbis for Romney and many sided witht Obama. The majority of Jews and their Conservative and reform rabbis also sided with Obama. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG founder and president rabbis for ROMNEY. The great majority OF Israeli wanteded ROMNEY to win.
    THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL IS AT STAKE AND WE MUST CONTINUE THE FIGHT.

    Read more: http://forward.com/articles/165564/obama-rides-jewish-mandate-to-second-term/?p=all#ixzz2BaXKhezF.

  8. Liad Bar-el says:

    Thank you Lori. I always enjoy reading your articles. The one you published on your web site from a Rabbi was excellent.

  9. Charlie Hall says:

    Most people would not be very smug after losing by a 69% to 31% margin.

  10. Yossie Bloch says:

    A lot of their investments are tied up in smug.

  11. HURRICANE OBAMAhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQBfudpKo3g&feature=player_embedded#at=19

  12. obama nacht

    RABBI BERNHARD ROSENBERG, nov 9 2012.

    Contrary to what we are told, the passage of time does not ease our pain, nor does it diminish the scope of the horror that was the Holocaust. Oh yes, there are those, few in number, who feel that it is psychologically healthier to avoid reminders that keep painful and unpleasant events alive. Why subject our young to the brutal story of Nazi bestiality toward the Jewish people? What purpose will it serve? It would be wiser not to talk about it so that it can disappear. Never! We must never stop telling this story. Tell it we must, in every gory detail! We must do this because it is our sacred duty to alert them to the evils of men, so that they will never be lulled into a false sense of safety and security. We must alert them so that our children will be vigilant and will never be caught unaware as were the Jews who perished in the Holocaust. This is the message I emphasize to my beloved children, Ilana, Ayelet, Yaakov and Ari. Although we are cognizant that our children will be adversely affected, that they will feel great pain upon learning the true facts of the Holocaust, we know that this is something we must do. I urgently beg of you, my fellow children of Holocaust survivors, keep alive the memory of the courage and will to live possessed by your parents. Time is growing short. Soon, like my parents of blessed memory, they will have left this world. Speak with them now. Learn all you can about their Holocaust experiences and about your grandparents and great-grandparents. Communicate with them before it is too late! This is our mission. This we must vow to do. Join me, my fellow Holocaust brothers and sisters, in this holy mission. Let us join hands and loudly acclaim, “We will keep the memory of the Holocaust alive”. Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg

  13. Gil Gilman says:

    He says with all the smugness available to those who get what they wanted…enjoy.

  14. Hinda Blas says:

    Where do you or anyone like CNN (Crescent News Network) get the numbers? I know MANY Jews did not vote for B.O. Yet the media has the numbers. Do they ask people coming out of the voting booths what is their faith? Do they dare ask Christians or Buddhists? I know for a fact that many illegals in California voted for B.O. making this election once again illegal. Also the absentee ballots have not all been counted which makes the meeting of the Electoral College illegal as well. Am I the only one who notices these things? This is mishuganah. Plus Bibi congratulating B.O. knowing that this one will do anything he can to destroy Israel?

  15. Gil Gilman says:

    Just think, if not one Jew had
    Voted for Obama, he would have lost the election ;-) This is as much a dream as "White men and old people voted for Romney; women and kids voted for Obama," as opined on Israel Hayom, or here, can't remember, because I'm an old person.

  16. Eric Tamez says:

    I am with you Gil. what are american Jews thinking? but, it is waht it is. now we will wait for the fall out. it is already happening with the stock market. it is only the beginning.

  17. Obama was re-elected, as I have been predicting here for two months. He got 69% of the Jewish vote, 1% less than I have been predicting here for two months. American Jews are citizens of the USA, and vote on the myriad of issues facing our country. Our country is the USA. To ask that we vote based solely on Israeli issues is, frankly, offensive. Do we ask you in Israel to vote based on USA issues? Of course not. In short: Get Over It.

  18. 70% of the American Jews not only voted against the interests of their own Republic (I wonder how many even know the U.S. is a Republic) but those 70% voted against Israel herself but would never dare admit it.
    I oft wonder how some people can pray in hope for their religious homeland, Israel, yet stand by idly while a president of another country is intent upon letting the dogs loose to destroy Israel much as was done in the time of other despots?

  19. Avram Patt says:

    Jews and Vermonters tend to vote for the Kenyan in similar percentages. Is someone investigatung this??!!

  20. And Vermont has an Independent Jewish Socialist Senator from Brooklyn. I sense conspiracy.

  21. Yori Yanover says:

    Michael — The U.S. has been manipulating elections around the world, with treasure and some blood, since the 19th century. In dozens if not hundreds of cases, in Asia, South America, Africa, Europe, the long hand of the CIA and DOS has reached out and dethroned one politician in favor of another. It is only fair that the rest of the world would try and defend themselves via political influence. So Israel tries to persuade U.S. Jews to vote with her in mind. Perfectly legitimate, considering what can happen to a country that lost favor in the eyes of the Caesar.

  22. Anonymous says:

    yes but Obama was elected under the guise of beng a christian, He is no christian as Christians do not believe in abortions or same sex marriages, so he is definitely not a christian yet he makes himself out to be one. Why so that when he doesn't come to the aid of Israel, he can point the fingers at the christians once again, He speaks much like Hitler did once. But then mayby Israel has to stand alone as only then the Lord can show His Glory by fighting Himself for Israel, when all nations come up against her. we put our trust and hope in the Living God and as Joshua said. "be strong and courageous Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your G-d will be with you wherever you go." shalom.

  23. Myriam Obadia says:

    Jews in the US didn't so much vote for Obama as they voted against Romney (especially after he chose Ryan the bigot as his partner). Let's face it, Jewish women weren't willing to sacrifice their right to survive a dangerous pregnancy and be relegated to the role of walking incubators, and Jewish husbands/fathers weren't ready to sacrifice their wives/daughters. Check the Jewish law: sacrificing the woman to the fetus is against our law.

  24. Ira L. Jacobson says:

    I'm not so sure that Reform weddings include any mention of Jerusalem. So that they cannot remember what they did not say when they got married: "If I forget you, oh Jerusalem."

  25. Ira L. Jacobson says:

    Myriam shows us how dangerous it is to have a little bit of information. While halakha certainly does not dictate saving of the fetus at the expense of the mother, abortion is highly against Torah law except in very special cases.

  26. Stop drinking the Republican kool-aid for 5 seconds

  27. ^Except Obama is pro-Israel.

  28. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/161821#replies

    Grave Disconnect as Orthodox Leaders Refused to Support Romney.

    70% of the Jewish population voting for Obama may show a grave disconnect between Israel and the Jewish population abroad.

    By Annie Lubin.
    First Publish: 11/7/2012, 4:41 PM.

    Is there a disconnect among world Jewry?

    As election results have been confirmed and statistics from national polls emerge, showing that American Jews overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama – with 70% of the Jewish population voting for Obama – questions emerge about the the true sentiments of this population towards Israel and the possible disconnect between Jews in Israel and those abroad.

    David Bedein, founder of the Israel Resource News Agency and Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research finds the disconnect between the religious in Israel and the U.S. particularly startling, saying many Republican supporters were shocked by the refusal of Orthodox leaders to throw their support behind the pro-Israel Mitt Romney.

    "Those who think that Orthodox Jews supported Romney and secular Jews supported Obama are wrong. This is simply not true," said Bedein. "In New Jersey they established the organization 'Rabbis for Romney,' and they turned to all sectors of Orthodox Jews, and there are a million Jews like that, but their rabbis refused to join."

    In his opinion, Jewish support for Obama indicates a grave detachment from the land of Israel.

    Rabbi Ben Rosenberg, who established Rabbis for Romney, said to me: "We approached the Young Israel organization, which represents hundreds of synagogues, we approached the Council of Rabbis in the U.S., the Chabad organization, Agudath Israel, all of them refused – they told us they wanted to protect their ties to the current government. We need to understand that the difference (in votes for) Obama and Romney was very slight in the key states, and if those rabbis and leaders would have done something, if they would have emphasized how dangerous Obama is for Israel, it would have changed the entire picture and Romney would have been put in the White House."

    Bedein believes that Orthodox Jews who put on tefillin and pray three times a day but voted for Obama, pose contradictory questions based on their behavior. "He is the President who did terrible things, who appointed anti-Semites, who supported Islam and here there are Jews who pray three times a day, who learn daf yomi (Talmud page), who have close relatives in Israel and they vote for Obama. All this should inspire us to think about the relationship between the religious in Israel and the religious there and why there is such a disconnect."

  29. Ira shows us how dangerous a narrow view of the world is. Perhaps if he risked becoming pregnant every time he had sex his view would be less narrow.

  30. Charlie Hall says:

    The Republican Jewish Coalition got the same numbers in their poll — 69% for Obama.

    And it even found that Obama won among Orthodox Jews by 48% to 44%.

  31. Myriam Obadia says:

    I'm not speaking of Halakha tolerating a few rare abortions. I am speaking of the Tanakh and the Talmud. In case of risk to the mother's life -or even to the welfare of the children she's already raising, an abortion is recommended by our rabbis, our sages, and the ones who spent their lives commenting and explaining our laws (Maimonides included), but the choice is entirely up to the woman, from the day she learns she is pregnant until the moment before the head crowns. That, Ira, is even much more "liberal" than the US or the Israeli law.

  32. Karen Berger says:

    Yori, I always vote with Israel in mind — and I voted for Obama. Here in America, we had a lot to lose in hitching our wagon to the current Republican party. They have adopted an extremist position on many social justice issues that would have a profound and long-lasting effect America. I was not convinced that Obama was not sufficiently pro-Israel and that Romney wouldn't be a foreign policy nightmare. I thought long and hard about my vote. Do not, for a moment, think that I didn't fully consider all aspects of this election.

  33. Karen Berger says:

    Here in America, a woman has the right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. Obama's Christianity has nothing to do with anything. Our country is predicated on the idea that there is a separation of church (as a religious body) and state. The reasoning being that people should have the right to religious freedom and not whether any given religious ideology dictate a given individual's behavior.

  34. Avram Patt – AND, Vermont also has a Jewish Governor, and a Jew from the Bronx who runs one of its electric coops. I believe a full investigation must be had.

  35. I agree Hinda, the ballots have yet to be counted and it does take gall to declare a winner before all of the results are firm.
    —————————————————————————–
    Jonathan Beer, you must be drinking the Isalmic Koo-aid if you believe for one minute Obama is pro-Israel. What he says and how he acts in regard to Israel are opposite ends of the spectrum.

  36. There is NO provision in the US constitution a so-called 'separation of church and state'. What is established that the government CANNOT prevent the free expression of a religion nor can it establish one itself as was the condition at the time in England.

  37. I am happy to be one of the 70% of American Jews who voted for Obama. Neither candidate was perfect. Neither ever is. But Obama's policies and programs are more closely aligned with the long Jewish traditions of concerns for social justice which I endorse. I am convinced that Obama's policies so more to promote the strength and fundamental interests of the United States Romney's would have done. Also, I do not see any way that any American President could have supported Israel more strongly than did Obama. Don't expect any American President, Democrat or Republican, to send US troops to defend Israel.

  38. to Michael Blum, I agree with you. I voted for Obama because 1) I believe his economic policies, grounded in modern economics which includes the Keynesian as well as the Monetarist fundamentals, aims to provide an economic stimulus to increase aggregate demand and improve the environment for business investment. He also supports building up our infrastructure. The conservative Republican policies have degenerated to the level of Herbert Hoover style economics and if implemented will produce the same results that Hoover got. 2) I support broadly his social agenda which, I believe, is aligned with the millenia-old Jewish concern for social justice. Neither of these directly benefit Israel but it's hard to see how we could help Israel anyway if we descend into a depression. Obama appears to have supported Israel on every major issue that came up in the UN. It's hard to see where he could have done better. Like you, I support the candidate who is best for America. But I also doubt that Romney would do anything for Israel that would be more beneficial that what Obama will do.

  39. Sure. It's not like he requested $3,000,000, the most in security assistance for Israel of any President.

  40. KAren- You are delusional. 'nuff said.

  41. Charlie Hall says:

    " Christians do not believe in abortions or same sex marriages"

    Actually there are some Christian groups that don't have a problem with same sex marriages, and lots of Christian groups that don't have a problem with abortion. And these are not marginal groups but the Churches that are among the oldest in America.

    " he doesn't come to the aid of Israel"

    Actually US-Israel military cooperation is at the highest level in history.

  42. Charlie Hall says:

    Diane L. Logan "the government CANNOT prevent the free expression of a religion nor can it establish one itself "

    Uh, that is precisely the definition of separation of church and state.

  43. Charlie Hall says:

    Ira L. Jacobson "abortion is highly against Torah law except in very special cases"

    There are a lot of those "very special cases".

  44. Myriam Obadia says:

    Diane, I tend to think Jefferson -as one of those who signed the US Constitution- knew a little more what it meant to say than you do

  45. Myriam Obadia says:

    yep, they include the one in which a breast feeding mother is to abort if she gets pregnant, so as not to deprive the older child of her milk. That one is in the torah and has been extended in the Talmud commentaries as meaning that -if a new child would interfere in anyway with the care a woman gives her family- abortion is recommended. Remark: it says recommended not tolerated.

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