Buckeye View Of Jewish Vote
11/05/2012 - 01:16
Douglas Bloomfield

If Ohio is any indicator, the multi-million-dollar campaign by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Sheldon Adelson and the GOP to convince the Buckeye state's Jews to vote for Mitt Romney for president and Josh Mandel for Senate is headed for failure.  Big Time.

Their message that Barack Obama, Sen. Sherrod Brown and the Democrats can't be trusted on Israel or other issues important to the Jewish community is a flop.

The final pre-election poll published Sunday by the Columbus Dispatch, one of the most conservative newspapers in the critical battleground state, had to be a shock.  Only 17 percent of Jews surveyed said they planned to vote for Romney and just 14 percent said they would vote for Mandel.

This is especially surprising since Mandel is Jewish and has been particularly aggressive in making sure everyone knows that as he courted Jewish voters and contributors, not only in Ohio but nationwide. The 35-year-old state treasurer has emphasized his commitment to Israel, his involvement with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the fact he was married in Jerusalem and that his grandfather was a Holocaust survivor.

It came as no surprise that the Dispatch endorsed Romney for president; it has been many years since the paper has endorsed a Democrat for the top job, if ever.  I worked part time on the Dispatch copy desk when I was in grad school in 1963 and personally saw the publisher order editors to make sure the paper's support for Barry Goldwater be reflected in the news coverage as well as on the editorial pages.

The big shock for Dispatch readers last week was its endorsement of liberal Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown for reelection over Mandel, a Tea Party favorite. 

Dispatch senior editor Joe Hallett wrote Sunday:

"Ohio’s 10 largest newspapers, including two with staunchly Republican editorial viewpoints, have endorsed the re-election of Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown. Many of the endorsement editorials have criticized Josh Mandel, the Republican nominee and state treasurer for 21 months, for running a dishonest and negative campaign and for demonstrating that he is not ready to represent Ohio in the Senate."   

I was in Columbus the past several days visiting friends and relatives, Republicans and Democrats, and they told me the last Democratic Senate candidate anyone could recall the Dispatch endorsing was John Glenn in 1974, and that was only for his first term; subsequently they backed his Republican opponents.

Overall, the Dispatch poll shows Obama leading Romney 50-48 among all Ohio voters and Brown well ahead of Mandel 51-45. 

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Your conclusion and the poll you cite seems to be inconsistent with the article published in the Jewish Week's article "In Battleground Ohio County" by Stewart Ain. It spoke of many individuals voting for Governor Romney and a number that are undecided and unhappy with President Obama's record. I would add my own concern about our President who found the time to visit Egypt and Saudi Arabia to placate Arabs but didn't find the time in a four year term to visit Israel. Actions speak louder than words. And I have met with Governor Romney and find his staunch support of Israel refreshing and reassuring. I don't believe he would turn his back on Israel's Prime Minister. Jews should seriously consider the Governor given his record as a businessman, successful Governor and friend of Israel.

People who think President Obama has a negative attitude toward Israel should consider the following:

Obama has taken many positive actions for Israel including: rejecting the Goldstone report that criticized Israeli actions in the war in Gaza; asking Congress to approve a $205 million package to help Israel build a new anti-missile defense system; successfully advocating for Israel’s admission into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development; giving a speech in the heart of the Arab world, in which he told his listeners that they need to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state; stating to the UN General Assembly clearly and unequivocally that “Israel is a sovereign state and the historic homeland of the Jewish people” and “It should be clear to all that efforts to chip away at Israel’s legitimacy will only be met by the unshakeable opposition of the US.”

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have stated many times that the U.S. has been extremely cooperative in meeting Israel’s security needs.

Another example of Obama’s strong support for Israel is his very positive response to a frantic, middle-of-the-night call from Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu that helped free six Israelis who were trapped in the Israeli embassy in Cairo that was under attack by militant Egyptians. After they were freed, Netanyahu said: "I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help. This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, “I will do everything I can.” And so he did. He used every considerable means and influence of the United States to help us. We owe him a special measure of gratitude. This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States."

On September 22, 2011, Prime Minister Netanyahu heaped additional praise on President Obama for his talk at the United Nations, in which Obama expressed opposition to U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, and indicated that he would veto a resolution supporting that recognition in the U.N. Security Council. Netanyahu indicated that Obama deserved a “badge of honor” for that talk.

A fascinating piece of news, and one which we were unlikely to read anywhere else. Thanks!