The Jerusalem Post reports: Were Israel America’s 51st state, it is clear – at least based on various polls in Israel over the last five months – that it would be giving its hypothetical 13 electoral votes (based on the size of its population) to Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the upcoming US elections.
In other words, Israel – in American political terms – is a deep red state. Unlike the popular stereotypes of Jews, we here in Israel are Texas, Nebraska and Indiana.
What is so jarring about this is the degree to which it stands in sharp contrast to the voting trends of American Jews.
An Israel Democracy Institute/Tel Aviv University Peace Index poll released this week found that when asked “in terms of Israeli interests, who would be preferable to win the elections next month in the US,” 57.2 percent of Israeli Jews said Romney, and only 21.5% said Obama.
These findings are consistent with other findings over the last few months, including a Jerusalem Post poll in mid October that found that only 18% of Israelis believe Obama is pro- Israel, while 28% believe him to be pro-Palestinian; another Peace Index poll from August showing that 40% of Israeli Jews believe Romney assigns “more importance to defending Israel’s national interests,” compared to 19% for Obama; and a Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies poll from June showing that 29% of Israelis believe Romney would better promote Israel’s interests, as opposed to 22% for Obama.
What is clear from all those figures is that over the past four years Obama has not exactly won over the Israeli Jewish public. In other words, Israelis have not felt the love. The same, of course, cannot be said of Israel’s American Jewish brethren.
Jews, according to 2008 exit polls, voted for Obama over John McCain by a 78% to 22% margin.
And Obama’s numbers among American Jews, four years down the line, are still very high, though not as high as they were back then, something that could play a significant role in a close election.
A Gallup tracking poll from July 1 – September 10 found that Jews planned to vote for Obama over Romney by a 64% – 25% margin. And an American Jewish Committee poll in mid September put that number at 65% for Obama, 24% for Romney and 10% undecided. [Continue reading…]