Another day, another poll showing Jews abandoning Obama — but Jeff Dunetz wonders if there’s less than meets the eye:
Without a better understanding of how this poll was conducted, I cannot vouch for its veracity. First of all it implies that Jews vote one issue, Israel. This simply is not true. Even hard core pro-Israel Jews do not vote on only one issue. Certainly Israel wasn’t the only reason that 55% of American Jews voted against Jimmy Carter in 1980. But, just as what happened 31 years ago, Barack Obama’s anti-Israel policies are causing liberal Jews to wake up and smell the hummus, and evaluate what has happened since January 2009 domestically, and across the world. What they see is not very positive.
Additionally I believe that the numbers are a bit too Obama negative for this early in the campaign. Maybe because it is a generic Republican vs a named candidate, but its hard to believe that without a barrage of campaigning, Obama’s support is less than 60%.
Jeff’s analysis feels solid to me, but I’d like to add two more thoughts.
First thought. If Jews are leaving Obama, that doesn’t mean they’ll embrace the GOP nominee. If the Republicans put up a Michele Bachmann or a Rick Santorum — even the Veep slot — Jews might flock right back to Obama. Speaking as an agnostic Tea Party half-Jew, I can tell you I dearly appreciate Bachmann’s feistiness and her willingness to cut spending. But if she’s serious about pushing back against gay marriage as a state issue and sticking intelligent design in science classes, then she and I have a problem. And Santorum is beyond the pale.
But Santorum has almost no route to the nomination, and Bachmann has her own problems right now — so, hey, no problem.
Second thought. Assuming Obama is losing the Jewish vote and the GOP nominates someone who doesn’t scare Jews off, that doesn’t mean Obama would be in trouble in New York or California. Obama could dump Biden for Mao and still win those states. In a few districts, he’d do better.
But. Obama would lose enough of his fundraising to feel the pain, and Florida might be put out of his reach. North Carolina and Indiana are probably already gone for Obama. And Ohio, Virginia, and the Upper Midwest (barring Michigan) are all uncertain. That makes Florida a must-win for Obama — which is why I expect some serious Israel ass-kissing between now and then.
That is, if Obama is constitutionally capable of kissing the bottom of a foreign leader who isn’t a thug. Which strikes me as something of a longshot.