Lately, those of us that follow these things, have been hearing non-stop about how Republicans are posting huge gains with Jewish American voters. We keep hearing Obama Derangement Syndrome (ODS) Sufferers telling us how the Democratic Party is "Bleeding" Jewish voters and how the Republicans are surging in our polity. Now, personally, while I have seen some uptick in disappointment with President Obama in parts of the Jewish Polity, I have certainly NOT seen a groundswell of reversal of Jewish Political support for the President.
However, that has not stopped the Right Wing, and their ODS drones, from trying to hype their narrative of Jewish Support for the Republican Party. In fact, this hype has even been picked up by Israeli Papers and spread... BUT is this true? Let's look at the facts.
First of all the Pew voters poll in 2011 (a poll with at 6.5% margin of error) indicated a +9% rise in Republican or Leaning Republican tendency in American Jewish voters. In 2008 the Pew Poll, showed that 72% of Jewish Voters leaned Democratic while only 20% leaned Republican. In 2012 the Poll shows that 65% of Jewish Voters lean Democratic while 29% lean Republican. NOW, in the 2008 election it turned out that 78% of Jewish Americans voted Democratic. In the 2011 poll the representative sample size was only 330 people - about HALF of the number asked in 2008 (645 people), so there is that. In the AJC poll of 2011 (a better indicator) there was a 9% decrease in identified Democratic Jewish voters BUT also a 1% DECREASE in Republican voters with the 10% gain of voters then saying they were Independents.
But even more telling that this is pure hype is the fact that according to this year's Pew Poll and last year's Pew Poll the Republicans have actually LOST GROUND amongst Jewish voters. In 2010 the poll said 33% of Jewish voters leaned Republican while 60% leaned Democrat. SO in effect the Democratic party has regained 5% points of it's support and the Republicans lost 4% points of their support in just the last year.
SO, in the polls... is the Republican party really picking up a "groundswell" of Jewish support? Maybe not so much.
But now even more bad news for the ODS'ers and their Right Wing support group. In Florida, a key state with a large Jewish voting bloc - Jewish voters were only 1% of the Republican Primary vote. In 2008, they were 3%. THEN in the Nevada Caucuses, where Jewish voters were only 2% of the Republican Primary vote in 2008, guess what % they were in 2012... Wait for it.... Wait for it..... 2% - whoa, now there is a "groundswell".
Really all this is, typical Rovian re-definition of reality. Has the Democratic Party lost some of it's influence with Jewish voters? To date, yes it has, some. Will 78% of the Jewish voting population vote for President Obama again, I doubt it. But I would be willing to bet that the number of Jewish Democratic voters will still be higher than 70% (personally I see around 72-73% as a number).
Given the facts, that the President and the Democratic Party have been stalwart friends to the Jewish people and the Jewish State of Israel it seems to me that the only reason for this drop off is that the Party has not done a great job in outreach to Jewish voters and has not touted their strong, strong record of friendship and advocacy for both the Jewish community as well as support for Israel. This they need to do, and if they do it I have no doubt they will pick up more Jewish votes.