Palin and the (over-educated) Jews
11/28/2010 - 10:11
James Besser

Update: for a response from a Jewish Palin backer, check out this op-ed, just posted on the Jewish Week home page.

It's no secret Jewish Democrats are fervently hoping the Republicans nominate former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to take on a battered, besieged president Barack Obama in 2012 – Palin being the reason, according to some political scientists, that Sen. John McCain fared so badly among Jewish voters in 2008.

A new Marist poll suggests their hopes aren't exactly unfounded.

According to the survey, Palin does best among less educated, less affluent voters; with more education and more money, her support drops off precipitously.

Palin is the first choice among possible GOP contenders of 18 percent of Republicans who haven't graduated from college, putting her at the top of the heap. But among those GOPers with college degrees, she garners only 7 percent, well behind former Mass. Governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Get the connection here? Jewish voters are significantly more educated than the population at large and more affluent. Party insiders I talk to say Jewish Republicans are edging toward Romney; Huckabee, the Baptist preacher, could be positioned to be a bridge between the Christian conservative faction in the party and more moderate forces, including Jewish Republicans.

Not coincidentally, these are the likely 2012 contenders who do best with better-educated Republicans.

The same poll is full of bad news for Obama; 48 percent of voters nationwide say they “definitely” plan to vote against him, with 36 percent planning on supporting him and 16 percent undecided.

And half of the independents surveyed say they will definitely not support his reelection bid. That's pretty bad news for a president whose party just lost big-time in congressional midterms.

The survey doesn't say anything about Jewish voters, but there's a widespread perception in political circles President Obama is not on track to repeat his 78 percent performance with the Tribe in 2012 – unless the GOP nominates someone who will be a big turnoff.

Early signs suggest a Palin nomination could be the best way for Obama to hold on to a Jewish vote that otherwise would probably drift a bit toward the GOP.

Speaking of Palin, she's getting slammed for saying “we gotta stand with our North Korean allies.”

I don't buy the claim this shows she's stupid.

No, Palin is not the most informed candidate on the national scene, but you'd be hard pressed to find ANY big-league politician who gets interviewed every day who hasn't made equally embarrassing gaffes.

Debating whether or not she's qualified to be president is legitimate; using her North Korea slip as proof she isn't is just silly.

Comments

Did you read what I wrote? "I don't buy the claim this shows she's stupid. No, Palin is not the most informed candidate on the national scene, but you'd be hard pressed to find ANY big-league politician who gets interviewed every day who hasn't made equally embarrassing gaffes. Debating whether or not she's qualified to be president is legitimate; using her North Korea slip as proof she isn't is just silly."
More of Besser's grade A reporting. Has Besser bothered to look at the interview of Palin? http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/48554/ Not 30 seconds earlier, she was speaking of North Korea as a threat. She misspoke one line, and then corrected herself. Besser, the good leftist liar, joins Media Matters et all is lying. Shameless liar. It's not like we have a commandment on this type of thing. Perhaps Besser and his purposely misinformed readers should look at the other side. (We still do believe in discussion, as Jews, right?) http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/notes/sarah-palin/a-thanksgiving-message-to-all-57-states/463364218434
Most the politically conservative Jews in my family and sphere of friends, acquaintances and colleagues do not support Palin. They are more likely to support a Romney or a McCain type candidate. I am extrapolating here from Canadian Jews to American, but I believe many more Jews would have voted for McCain if he hadn’t picked Palin. The choice was widely viewed by Jews as a bad decision. Since Jews tend to be more educated, they value, intelligence, expertise, good communication skills, and know how. Politicians that make decisions from the gut or based on so called “common sense solutions” will never receive much Jewish support. I certainly don’t want my doctor, lawyer, dentist or financial advisor to make decisions based entirely on “common sense”. As far as Palin’s North Korea media slam. This plays into the whole media script that she’s a know-nothing on foreign policy. This was well documented in John Heilemann’s and Mark Halperin’s book Game Change. According to campaign staffers she apparently didn’t even know there were two Koreas. So has she learned or memorized which Korea is our ally or does she actually know it? When I read Palin’s facebook post on the perceived media bias against her I instantly though “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”. Can you imagine if GW Bush reacted the same way with his hundreds of often hilarious verbal gaffes. Or Britney Spears chastising the celebrity press for being harder on her than they were on Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan.
I am a Jewish scientist with a Ph. D. degree and I am going to vote for Sarah Palin! So dream on!

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