Obama’s Jewish Problem?

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Obama lost the Jewish vote in New York by two-to-one, and by almost that much in New Jersey. In California, Jewish voters went to Clinton as well but by a much narrower margin, 48 percent to 44 percent (with the balance going to Edwards). Yet in Connecticut, Jews went for Obama by better than three-to-two–the highest margin of any white religious group, including those with no religion. And in Massachusetts, they also broke Obama’s way, 52 percent to 48 percent. What gives? New York and New Jersey have disproportionately large numbers of Orthodox Jews, who are politically more conservative than their Reform and Conservative co-religionists–and, of course, metropolitan New York, where the Jewish population is most heavily concentrated, is very much Clinton country. But elsewhere, Obama seems to be in a position to compete on even terms for Jewish votes. Where are there enough of these to matter in the contests to come? Maryland and Pennsylvania and maybe Ohio.

  • Stevenam

    Obama’s position on Israel is quite unclear – a byproduct of his short political career. Both Clinton and McCain have long-established support for Israel’s security and its importance to both the US and Israel. Until Obama makes his position clear, and swears off his long-time pastor’s blatant antisemitism, Jewish support for Obama will – and should – be quite shallow.

  • Mark Silk

    What, in your eyes, would constitute making his position clear, Stevenam?

  • Stevenam

    Obama needs to make a statement in front of an audience of non-Jews (as well as Jews) renouncing his pastor’s very public views on Israel, and affirming his position that Israel has the right to exist as a secure Jewish state, and that those who have attacked her relentlessly and call for her destruction need to be neutralized.