About Jacob Kornbluh

Jacob Kornbluh, is a political operative in Brooklyn, New York. He also serves as the political correspondent for the Jewish Voice newspaper in Brooklyn and a contributor for various publications. Kornbluh regularly interviews political analysts, newsmakers and top government officials from Israel, the United States and elsewhere. Jacob also offers his own unique insight regarding the burning issues of the day along with penetrating commentary from well known policy makers, on his Blog (http://jacobkornbluh.com) and weekly online radio show (http://Romneyradio.us).

OPINION: Romney Enhanced His Role as Credible Alternative to Obama – On Style and Substance


“Obama came back swinging,” was Wolf Blitzer’s outburst as the debate concluded. As a matter of fact, Obama was indeed there; he actually showed up. Problem is, it was the same exact Obama that has been president for the past four years.

Romney stayed on course in presenting the facts about Obama and his record, and even pulled a Newt when confronting the moderator in getting a fair share of time to respond. Under no circumstances did Romney allow Obama to run away from his record.

In my opinion, if the first debate was a game changer, the second simply was a game maintainer. If Romney had to win the first debate to remain relevant as a candidate, Obama had to win big this time, in overcoming the arguments about his bad record, and successfully portray Romney as worse than him or at least get Romney to stumble and shift in defense mode. That didn’t happen. Obama came back scoring a few political points and added some fuel to his unenthusiastic campaign. But, Romney won on style, looking presidential, and at the same time hitting the President over his record, and boy, was that a long list.

The post-debate CNN poll of debate viewers felt Obama edged out Romney in the 2nd debate with 46% to Romney’s 39%. But, they expressed greater confidence in Romney’s ability to lead, especially on the economy.

Romney enhanced his role as an effective alternative to President Barack Obama.

Debate Analysis: Romney Rocked That Empty Chair


I hate being the “I told ya so” guy, hence, I should take some credit for my showing of credibility and word of mouth. I have been struggling for months and just recently for days in convincing my Republican friends that the game ain’t over, that Mitt Romney will step up to the plate and give a resounding rebuttal to President Obama’s lies.

They set the bar so low for Mitt Romney, that even a tie or a well performance would of put Romney at a good start, since it is after all a challenger standing foot to foot with the incumbent President. But who would of thought that Romney would just simply slap Obama in the face, that even his most passionate supporters had to scream our of despair: ‘Where the heck is Obama?’

The notion that Mitt Romney is a good debater is unquestionable. Out of 20 debates in the GOP primary season, he only lost two of them to Newt Gingrich, and prevailed against him, the best debater in town, at the two Florida primary debates.

But there’s more to it. Romney is a quick learner, but also a fighter. Whenever he was faced with a ‘do or die’ challenge, he met it with great aggressiveness and pulled it off. Iowa wasn’t supposed to be Romney’s home turf, but he won it by losing it to Santorum with 34 votes. He lost SC, but won decisively in FL after being buried, and being offered to step down for the Jeb. In Michigan, his home town, he won it, after losing steam to Santorum and the lead as the frontrunner, and so until he got the nomination in Tampa.

Because when Romney is challenged, he rises to the moment, and delivers.

The race ain’t over, the votes are not yet counted, but if anyone had any doubt in Romney’s ability to beat the President, 67% of tonight’s debate watchers have the answer loud and clear: Romney won. He won big.

OPINION: In GOP Nomination Acceptance Speech, Romney Shines as An American

“America got to know more about Mitt Romney’s life tonight, than Barack Obama’s four years in the White House,” was the immediate response from a senior Republican delegate from NM on the bus, as we were leaving the Forum following Romney’s acceptance speech.

The quote above summarizes up the goal Mitt Romney has aimed to reach in his first introduction to the nation, as the Republican nominee for President of the United States. This election is not only a referendum on Barack Obama’s job as president, but also a choice of two different directions for the future of our country, and the distinct character style in making the case to the voters, in order to earn their trust in leading the nation through these troubling times.

Here are my four observations of the Republican convention and of Romney’s introduction to the nation last night:

1) Romney did not elaborate nor disclose specified policies. Nonetheless, the speech was generally policy oriented. While attacking Obama’s record, Romney layed out a new direction, one that makes sense and that has all the leads towards recovering from this staggering economy.

2) Romney told an incredible story about himself, not a tragic one, but of a loving upbringing that allowed him to grow up and become successful by his own terms. America got to see Mitt Romney – the grown up, the loving college kid, the husband, the father and the grandfather.

Romney’s personal story provided us with compelling proof that if you set the right foundation – with the necessary fundamentals – that sets the future of your child, with love, devotion, family values and giving them to understand the exceptionalism of America. It ultimately offers them a chance of growing up, setting the right goals in achieving the American dream and launching a successful career.

3) If you haven’t liked Mitt Romney, at least you have come to admire him on a personal level, even more in trusting him to lead with trust and honesty.

4) The most important aspect in winning an election in order to govern, which is – winning over independents and disappointed voters. That crucial voting bloc contributed to Obama’s victory in 2008 and is vital in winning the election in November. America has become so divided and partisan over the past decade that no matter who wins the election and governs, based on party affiliation, will not succeed in breaking the grid lock in Washington DC, nor get the necessary bipartisan support to pass a budget or tackle the issues that need to be addressed.

Mitt Romney spoke in a room full of supporters and party members, but his speech was directed at those sitting home, those who do not care who flies on Air Force One but what they get on their table to feed their families. And Romney set the right tone in getting the nation together by addressing the issues that unite us, and the issues that matter the most to Americans on a daily basis.

Based on his commitments and sincerity, I am totally convinced that Mitt will indeed dedicate his entire first term, if elected President, to fix the economy, reduce the unemployment rate, create jobs and get America back on track with a balanced budget and becoming once again a business friendly and job creating environment.

The Republicans or leaning Romney voters do not have to be excited or overwhelmed in voting for the Romney/Ryan ticket, but eager to celebrate success and get back to work.

After all, this election is all about us, our children and the America we live in. We believe in America, and we trust Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in leading us towards a brighter future.

Analysis: Romney Spoke American in Jerusalem

Romney in Jerusalem

Romney in Jerusalem

Mitt Romney’s Israel visit will not only be remembered by the outstanding reception, and the personal embrace by none other than Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. It will in particular be remembered for it’s purpose – the foundation of a fresh start, based on the tone and content of his foreign policy speech in Jerusalem.

While Romney was fortunate enough to publicly recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, it’s important to state, that this recognition is the rule of law since it passed the approval of the US congress in 1995. Romney’s harsh stance against Iran is especially important, due to the grave consequences of a possible nuclear Iran and the threat it poses to the entire world.

The personal and intimate relationship with Netanyahu would definitely play a major role in strengthening the US-Israel relationship, if Romney wins the Presidency. Nonetheless, it is upon the two leaders – no matter what their personal ideology or personal character is – to agree on an open, frank, direct and discreet dialogue, that will benefit the interests of both countries.

The tone of the speech, was one that offered a reflection of the American public, strongly supportive of the US-Israel alliance and the existence of Israel as Jewish State.

Based on the speech and public statements during the visit, one cannot argue that Romney came across as a Hawk or as a neo-conservative, but as a responsible leader that fully understands the value of an alliance that is committed to the security of Israel and is willing to take a stand on the challenges we both face as a free and prosperous nation.

This is the American language. This is an expression of a strong and enduring friendship.

In my eyes, Romney can use the speech in Jerusalem to appeal to those Democrats and Republicans who are passionate about a strong US-Israel relationship. Those who have actually examined President Obama’s record over the past 3 1/2 years have seen President Obama taking an unprecedented approach which resulted in throwing Israel under the bus, contributing to a unstable middle east, and the burial of the peace process.

There is a growing concern among Jewish Americans over the future of the diplomatic relationship with Israel. Therefore, without a doubt, Mitt Romney can definitely use the Israel trip to defy the skeptics and build upon a strong showing among Jewish voters – strong enough to win the general election, come November.

The Flimsy Pretense: Obama’s Foreign Policy OK, But….

President Obama’s general foreign policy record has not been too much of a success. He’s been gutsy in some areas and naive and stupid or even dangerous in some others, especially in the long term.

Even to those eager to defend the President’s policies and the President’s overall conduct in handling American foreign affairs – it’s a difficult task. Justifying his record remains shady to a degree that they are left with no choice but to break up analysis into regional, specific areas, in a way that dismantles the overall understanding or argument that President Obama has a strong, commanding lead on foreign policy issues.

The best example is David Brooks opinion in the NY Times, in which he starts off praising President Obama’s overall conduct in implementing a new, flexible foreign policy approach. Nonetheless, he points out the significant failures that may have an impact on US national security, the stability of the Middle East region and the future of democracy in the Arab World.

In the op-ed titled – “Where Obama shines” – Brooks starts of by praising the new approach Obama brought to the table. “It should be noted that Barack Obama has been a good foreign policy president. He, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of his team have created a style of policy making that is flexible, incremental and well adapted to the specific circumstances of this moment.

Following a foreign policy hedgehog, Obama’s been a pretty effective fox,” he writes.

All well, until the details are reviewed.

Here’s where even Brooks comes to the conclusion of “OK, but…”.

No one knows what will happen if Israel or the U.S. strikes Iran’s nuclear facilities. Confronted with that shroud of ignorance, Obama has properly pushed back the moment of decision-making for as long as possible, just in case anything positive turns up. This has meant performing a delicate dance — pressing Israelis to push back their timetable while, at the same time, embracing their goals….”

“There have been failures on Obama’s watch, of course. Some of these flow from executive hubris. Obama believed that he could help resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. He proceeded clumsily, pushed everybody into a corner and now peace is farther away than ever.

“Some failures flow from excessive politicization. An inexcusable blunder by Obama was to announce the withdrawal date from Afghanistan at the same time he announced the surge into Afghanistan. That may have kept the Democratic base happy, but it sent thousands of soldiers and Marines on a mission that was doomed to fail…

As a consequence of Obama’s foxy foreign policy approach, the possibility of a Mideast regional war in the summer, and Iran capable of threatening Israel with nuclear weapons is no longer theoretical, rather demonstrable.

Events and tragedies speak for themselves. No spin or argument will cover up for the rise of the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt and in Libya, the horrific situation in Syria, the resurgence of Hezbollah, and the Iranian proxies reaching the moment of obtaining chemical weapons and dirty bombs.

It’s time to wake up.

It’s Mitt Romney’s time. [tweetable]

Follow me on Twitter @jacobkornbluh

Mitt Romney’s Summer Trip to the Jewish Homeland and the Jewish Vote

Romney to visit Isreal this Summer.

Mitt Romney has promised to visit Israel in first foreign visit after inaugurated as the 45th President of the united States. Yet, it looks like Romney has decided to follow the advice of various Jewish groups, that have called on the Republican nominee to visit Israel during the election season, which would be first and foremost a significant bi-partisan boost to the US-Israel relationship, and politically would help Romney with the Jewish vote in the battleground states.

As reported first by the New York Times, and confirmed by Prime Minister Netanyahu’s senior advisor, Romney is expected to visit Israel this summer following trip to the Olympic games in London, and meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

“Mr. Romney, who has pledged to “do the opposite” of the Obama administration on matters pertaining to Israel, is also expected to meet with Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority; President Shimon Peres of Israel; the American ambassador, Daniel B. Shapiro; and leaders of the opposition Labor Party in Jerusalem. He plans to have at least one public event in a trip that will likely last less than two days.

“He’s a strong friend of Israel and we’ll be happy to meet with him,” said Ron Dermer, Mr. Netanyahu’s senior adviser, who worked with Republicans in the United States before immigrating here. “We value strong bipartisan support for Israel and we’re sure it will only deepen that.”

For Mr. Romney, the trip is an opportunity to appeal both to Jewish voters and donors, whose overwhelming support of President Obama has softened, according to some polls, and to evangelical Christians, whose trust he is still fighting to win. At the March conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the pro-Israel lobby known as Aipac, Mr. Romney vowed that Israel would be the destination of his first foreign trip as president, underscoring the fact that Mr. Obama has not visited here since his election, a sore spot among some Israel supporters.

While the visit could distract from the Republicans’ main line of attack against Mr. Obama, the economy, it is an opportunity for Mr. Romney, who as a former governor has little foreign policy experience, to play the statesman.

Mr. Dermer said the men would probably meet over a meal at the prime minister’s residence, though details have not yet been decided.

“The prime minister meets Democratic and Republican officials alike,” he said. “I’m sure they want to broadcast a very strong relationship with Israel, and Israel wants to broadcast a very strong bipartisan relationship with both sides of the aisle.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) applauded Gov. Mitt Romney’s decision to visit Israel this summer and meet with Israeli leaders, in a press release this afternoon.

RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “Having hosted Gov. Romney on a previous visit to Israel in 2007, the RJC knows firsthand how strong his commitment is to the Jewish homeland and we are thrilled that he will reinforce that commitment at this important time.”

While the visit will illustrate the stark diffrerences between Gov. Romney and President Obama, in terms of the relationship with Israel, and by large, the U.S. foreign policy approach, it will certainly drive registerd voters, currently residing in Israel to cast their absentee ballots in support of Romney, especially if it is a close race.

Having done that will definetly boost Romney foreign policy credentials. Nonetheless, the right investment, and the nessecary attention has to be shifted and directed at the Jewish community in New York.
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Romney and the Jewish Vote #1

If you didn’t know yet how out of touch the president is, his Friday “[private sector] doing fine” comment just said it all. Now, compare this with his charm offensive paragraph, he continuously uses when he address various Jewish groups. “If during this political season you hear some question of my administration’s support for Israel, remember that it’s not backed up by the facts,” Obama said in his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), in March, “There should not be a shred of doubt right now: When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”

Backed up by facts? Well, Liz Cheney summed it up best when it comes to the President’s record, to his Middle East policies and relationship with Israel. “There is no president who has done more to delegitimize and undermine the State of Israel than President Obama,” Cheney said, to huge applause from the 13,000 attendees at the Washington Convention Center.

Five months before election day, President Obama leads a new poll of swing states, from Purple Strategies, by 2 points over Mitt Romney overall. But Romney has taken a lead in crucial Florida and Ohio – in Ohio by 3 percentage points and in Florida by 4.

The poll confirms what has long been expected — a tight contest in which the redrawn political map will be a major factor. “This marks the first time since January that the candidates were within 2 points of each other in these critical purple states,” the pollsters wrote. “Despite still trailing, Mitt Romney has reached his highest vote total since our tracking began in September of 2011.”

A recent Quinnipiac poll had Romney leading the president in Florida by a 47-41 margin. In addition the latest Rasmussen poll of Likely Ohio Voters shows Romney with 46% support to Obama’s 44%.

Much of that can be attributed to the Jewish vote, both in Ohio and Florida, in which the Jewish vote makes up 5-8 percent of the electorate on Election Day.

Consistent with other poll data, President Obama now leads Mitt Romney among registered Jewish voters 64% to 29%, according to the latest Gallup poll. That’s a 14 point decline in support for the President since 2008, and a 7 point increase in support for the Republican candidate, since John McCain’s 22 percent on Election Day.

While Obama, now at 46%, is down among all registered voters by 5%, among Jewish voters he is down 10 points since Gallup’s last poll in 2008. According to Gallup, 83% of Jewish registered voters say they definitely will vote, which put’s Obama at around 60% of the vote, compared to Romney’s 30%. This is currently the highest portion of Jewish votes for a Republican candidate since Reagan in 1984.

In a press release following the Gallup poll results, RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said, “This poll is another sign of the erosion of support for Obama among Jewish voters. If the President wins just 64% of the Jewish vote, it would be a disaster for him and his party. Jewish voters are increasingly disillusioned with the President and that’s why Mitt Romney is making real inroads in the Jewish community this year.”

Jewish support for Democratic presidential candidates has exceeded 64% since 1988; Michael Dukakis took just 64% of the Jewish vote when he was soundly defeated by George H.W. Bush, the RJC notes. In 1992, Bill Clinton won 80% of the Jewish vote. In 1996, he was re-elected with 78% of the Jewish vote. Al Gore won 79% of the vote in 2000 and John Kerry took 76% in 2004. President Obama won 78% of the Jewish vote in 2008.

Another poll published last week by pollster Steven Cohen for The Workman’s Circle, shows President Obama with only 59 percent of the Jewish vote, compared with 27 percent for Romney. If the undecided vote were to split down the middle, the margin would be 68-32 percent, a far cry from Obama’s 78 percent Jewish backing in 2008.

Support for Romney by 32 percent the Jewish community could be a clincher, according to Tevi Troy, one of Romney’s senior campaign advisors on Jewish and Israel issues.

“If a Republican candidate gets in the 30s, they’re almost certain to win an election. If they get under the 20s, they’re almost certain to lose,” he was quoted as saying by the European Jewish Press.

“There’s this 28 percent spread, which I like to think about in terms of its Hebrew gematria (numerology), which is koach, meaning strength,” he continued. “This 28 percent shows the disproportionate strength of the Jewish vote given its relative numbers.”

While expressing confidence in Mitt Romney’s ability to make significant inroads among Jewish voters, Matt Brooks pointed out in a conversation with me last month, that in 2000, George W. Bush got only 19 percent of the Jewish Vote and narrowly carried Florida. And by the time of his re-election, with an overall 24% of the Jewish vote, the state of Florida wasn’t even close. However, he added, that “the more votes we take from the Democrat’s core base, the more it will impact the overall competitiveness of this race,” Brooks said.

If the final results indeed turn out to be closer to the 59 percent figure, Obama would receive the lowest percentage of the Jewish vote in a presidential election of any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, Jonathan Tobin notes in the Commentary Magazine.

“The pollsters insist, not without some reasons, that Israel does not appear to be a determining factor in the presidential vote. It bears repeating that the vast majority of Jews are not single issue voters on Israel and, like most Americans, will cast their votes based on other issues–principally, the economy.”

“If as the poll shows, the decline in Obama’s share of the Jewish vote is greater than the losses he is encountering in other sectors in national polls,” he continues. “Analysts need to ponder what it is about the president that is repelling a higher proportion of Jewish supporters to abandon his ship than elsewhere.”

“Because, as the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports, this otherwise heavily liberal population is still steadfast in its support for Israel as well as sympathetic to its current government, it is not unreasonable to suppose that those sentiments have led them to be, at the very least, a bit less favorable to a president who spent his first three years in office picking fights with Israel. Like the rest of the country, more Jews are disillusioned with the president’s handling of the economy, but is that enough to explain a potential loss of almost a quarter of the votes he received four years ago?”.

Obama is certain he knows what’s good for Israel. Given his record and the Iranian threat, it’s an impossible sell, Michael Goodwin writes in an opinion editorial for Fox news, Portraying President Obama as “Israel’s worst frenemy.”

(more…)

Mr. President, It’s About the Economy and National Security, And We Ain’t Stupid!

Governor Romney may have lost him as a spokesman, but Richard Grennell has not lost his message.

Despite being forced to step down shortly after being appointed by Romney as his foreign policy spokesman, Ric Grennell harbors no bad feelings. He believes that Romney knew he was gay and was picked because he “consistently challenged the Obama administration’s failure to lead the world and confront the most important international issues we face.”

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Grennell writes that this election is not about Gay issues, but about economic and national security. He believes that the guy best suited on these issues to replace President Obama is Mitt Romney:

“Like many voters, I rarely agree with a candidate’s every position. I can support Mr. Romney for president but not agree with all of his stated policies. I can be proud of President Obama’s personal support for gay marriage and still take exception to his dismal national-security and economic records. Millions of American voters will also evaluate both candidates’ policies in total and come to the same conclusion: Mr. Obama doesn’t deserve to be re-elected and Mr. Romney does.

Voters need to be reminded of Mr. Obama’s foreign-policy performance: his secret whispers to then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for more flexibility on missile defense; his snubbing of Israel and other allies while extending a hand to those who want to degrade the U.S.; his inability to lead at the United Nations. The president’s record proves he is too politically contrived and dangerously weak to deserve a second term.

One needs to look no further than the brutal regimes of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad and Kim Jong Eun to see that under Mr. Obama the U.S. has turned its back on too many that seek a better way of life. Iran is closer to a nuclear weapon than ever before and yet the president campaigns on the erroneous assumption that we are safer now. Allies like Turkey, India and Brazil openly ignore the U.S. while the president looks to make more concessions to Russia that gut our missile-defense capabilities. We’ve responded to our enemies and ignored our friends.

While there are many reasons not to vote to re-elect President Obama, gay marriage is not one of those issues. National and economic security absolutely are.”

In fact, some Republicans suggest the Global events dominating the month of May have given Mitt Romney a potential opening to make a cohesive foreign policy case — to attempt the difficult task of closing the stature gap with an incumbent president whose national security milestones have branded him, in the minds of Republicans, as tenuous on foreign policy.

Remember Obama’s questioning of Romney’s foreign policy and national security credentials? This was an area in which Obama hoped to distract voters from the economic situation and make them feel secure under his Commander-in-Chief umbrella while boosting the decision he made in ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden. He hoped to raise question marks regarding Romney’s competence on the national security front.

According to a new Rasmussen poll published on may 15th, when it comes to national security, Romney has edged ahead in that category. 44% of participants trust Romney more when it comes to national security, while 42% have confidence in the president in this area. Obama held a 45% to 42% lead in this area last month and a 45% to 41% edge in March. Romney leads by 20 points or more in every category among voters who have served in the U.S. military. Those who have not served give Obama the edge in trust when it comes to national security. Those who currently have an immediate family member in the military trust Romney more than Obama by a 48% to 41% margin when it comes to national security.

Additionally, In the latest NBC/WSJ poll, only 51% of Americans approve the job President Obama is doing handling foreign policy, 45% disapprove. 37% believe Obama’s approach has made America’s standing in the world worse.

*Note: Mr. Grenell was Director of Communications and Public Diplomacy for the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 2001-09. He served briefly as Mitt Romney’s foreign policy and national security spokesman.

Spin, Spin… Let’s Get Real! Defeat Obama For His Record


Once again, President Obama leads from behind. Vice President Joe Biden (the first major decision Obama made before being elected) committed the ‘oopsie’ by spilling the beans on same-sex marriage. And boy, this guy does not stop making gaffes, speaking his mind out of the blue, and creating some serious trouble for the President. Biden forced the President to do what he basically knows best – react.

Not that Obama took a dramatic turn, or as reported, evolved on the issue of same sex marriage. As Buzzfeed reports, Obama had the same position in 1996, before he opposed it in 2008. My observation is that Obama will do anything possible to energize the base, to get liberals out to vote, by diverting the conversation and taking a lead on some issue that matters to them as an ideology but not as a mainstream, citizen-caring theme.

Mitt Romney successfully defeated his primary rivals largely by running a disciplined campaign centering around a dominating issue – the state of the economy. Romney’s strength against Obama is his ability to draw a sharp contrast with the President’s experience on job creation, the economy, and operating the federal government. Americans are mostly concerned with jobs and the economy.

Obama ain’t dumb; he’s at least as clever as me. Obama and his campaign observed over the past month the President’s eroding support among key elements and voting blocs (which contributed to his 2008 victory). The only way out was to avoid defending his record and go on offense – to portray his opponent as out of touch and energize the Obama base by giving them the needed red meat.

As brilliant as they might be, for every trap Messina and Axelrod set for Romney, he avoided them. And the only spin that seems to work or at least pick up traction is the same sex marriage issue. (Social issues handed Bush a second term.)

Romney and we Republicans must not fall into same-sex marriage trap. (Obama tried to rally his supporters by spiking the Osama Bin Laden football and it didn’t work.) Why help Obama unite his base, which in my eyes is more fractured than the GOP base? Look at what happened with Judd’s 42% in West Virginia’s primary and the 200K votes against the President in North Carolina.

We must continue to examine and hammer Obama’s record, not his evolving positions or fresh baked promises. Obama is the incumbent who must pay the price for not leading this country in the right direction. And only if we draw that sharp contrast on fiscal issues and appeal to the broader suffering base will we be able to carry that message through to November and replace the Obama administration for good.

We should not debate Obama’s every whim.




Poll Shows a Replay of 1980 – American Jewish Electorate Divided on Presidential Election

As the general election has just kicked off, with the economy getting the main focus and attention, and Obama taking some hits on his record, it is also important to see how American voters view President Obama’s conduct and his handling of issues that matter to most Americans.

Let’s look particularly at a demographic that may play an important party in determining who becomes the next President of the U.S. in November 2012 – the Jewish American electorate. Since this race is going to come down to a battle over swing states, those that historically and demographically choose the President, the Jewish population in Florida, Ohio, Philadelphia and Cleveland could be the demographic giving Mitt Romney the edge over the President.

A new poll, conducted by Knowledge Networks for the AJC, shows the mixed political mind of the American Jewish community as the nation heads into general election season. It reveals Romney making significant inroads in the Jewish community, getting the support of 28 percent, 6 months before election day. In comparison, President George W. Bush, considered one of Israel’s greatest friends, got only 24 percent of the Jewish vote in his reelection bid in 2004. Senator McCain, also known as a strong supporter of Israel during his years in the Senate, got only 22 percent.

The poll also shows President Obama getting only 61 percent of the Jewish vote, a decline of 17 points down from the 78 percent he got in 2008. 11 percent are undecided, but when asked whom they are leaning towards, 5% picked Romney and 6% picked the president. Even before the Veep pick, the national convention, and the campaign effort which is expected to be aggressive and carefully area targeted in the months ahead, that gives Mitt Romney roughly 33% of the Jewish vote.

Based on this poll data, one could confidentially assume Mitt Romney getting around 39% of the Jewish vote in November. It matches President Reagan’s 1980-1984 support.

The analysis is based on poll data, which could be spinned and twisted brilliantly by both campaigns, but also gives us a glimpse of how the electorate is somewhat similar to 1980 when Ronald Reagan challenged President Jimmy Carter. When asked for the most important issues in deciding their vote, 80 percent of American Jews cited the economy, 57 percent health care, 26 percent national security and 22 percent U.S.-Israel relations. But among those who are more focused on national security concerns or U.S.-Israel relations, only 42 percent would vote for Obama. Forty-four percent of those who cite national security and 45 percent of those who cite U.S.-Israel relations would vote for Romney.

Regardless of how the respondents intend to vote, 60 percent think the Democratic Party is more likely to make the right decision in dealing with Iran’s nuclear program. 37 percent choose the Republican Party. The same is with national security issues and the economy in which 36% trust the Republicans compared to 60-62 that trust the Democrats.

Nonetheless, if this election is a combination of the economy and national security issues, based on the assumption these factors will be key in determining the support each candidate might get – the President’s record, his name recognition, his incumbency advantage and Mitt Romney’s aggressive campaigning mode, one could definitely expect Mitt Romney to pick up high support among Jewish voters. Consequently, that would create an opening and opportunity for the Republican party to open it doors, run competitive Jewish candidates, make Jews feel comfortable in the GOP party, and most of all, be just enough to tilt some highly contested Battleground states in Mitt Romney’s column.

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