Roger L. Simon

How to win an election, Israeli-style

I was listening to blather about the Israeli electoral today on NPR during which there was some thumb-sucking about whether Ariel Sharon’s recent hospitalization might cost him votes. No way, I thought. And for once I was right. According to a new poll, Sharon’s Kadima party has increased their percentage of the vote since the PM’s stroke.

Sharon received good news on Tuesday when polls indicated that support for Kadima went up since the stroke. A Dahaf Institute poll in Yediot Aharonot found that Kadima gained a mandate since Friday while Labor went down two.

According to a Teleseker poll in Ma’ariv, Kadima has gone up three seats to 42. The poll found that Sharon’s most popular potential successor was Peres, followed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni. The poll also predicted that if Livni led Kadima the party would win the race, but if Vice Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was the leader, Labor would win.

The polls were taken before Netanyahu was elected Likud leader.