This week’s polls are showing Sen. Barack Obama opening up a significant lead over Sen. John McCain, but don’t start placing your bets on the November outcome. A cascade of events and some unprecedented political factors make this the most volatile election year in recent history.
Wednesday, July 16th, 2008
James Besser in Washington
A new poll by J Street, the pro-peace process political action committee and lobby, showed overwhelming Jewish support for new peace moves in the region, but strong resistance to territorial compromise on Jerusalem.
Sen. Joe Lieberman is riding high as a top surrogate for his pal John McCain, but he could face rough going in the Senate next year if the Democrats pick up as many seats on November 4 as most experts predict.
This week House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) issued the strongest-yet warning to the former Democrat - not that Lieberman seems very interested in the opinions of his old colleagues.
The Jewish Week has heard from some readers unhappy about what they see as an imbalance in our coverage of this year’s presidential campaigns. Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has been on the front page a lot in recent months; Sen. John McCain, his GOP rival, has not.
It’s a fair criticism because at least in terms of the number of stories, there has been an imbalance.
Pro-peace process groups are hoping Sen. Barack Obama will use this week’s trip to the Middle East, which will include stops in Jerusalem and Ramallah and talks with top Israeli and Palestinian leaders, to lay out more explicitly how he will intensify U.S. efforts to mediate the conflict if he wins in November.
Several Barack Obama supporters said earlier in the week that today’s speech at AIPAC would be the critical moment in his effort to keep Jewish voters on the Democratic reservation in November.
They must be kvelling now that the speech is over. A pro-Israel group whose leaders feared a less-than-friendly reception gave Obama one of the most enthusiastic receptions of the three-day conference.
Sen. John McCain’s decision to reject the endorsements of Pastors John Hagee and Rod Parsley (see this week’s Jewish Week story here) could bolster support from centrist swing voters - including some Jews who are inclined to vote Republican but remain concerned about the influence of the religious right on the Republican Party.