Only minutes after posting my story on the new American Jewish Committee poll and its plethora of bad news for President Obama, I received an email from an angry Democrat.
Sure, he said, the national downturn in the President's popularity is reflected in the Jewish numbers. But he argued that I downplayed the fact the Democrats still enjoy a close to three-to-one advantage over the Republicans in Jewish partisan identification.
New AJC poll says it's the economy, not Israel, driving down Democratic numbers.
James D. Besser
President Barack Obama's approval rating among Jewish voters has fallen six points in just seven months, and a surprisingly strong 33 percent of those surveyed say the nation would be better off with a Republican-led Congress, according to a just-released poll of Jewish voters by the American Jewish Committee.
That suggests one of the strongest pillars of the Democratic base is weakening just weeks before critical congressional midterm elections that are expected to result in strong GOP gains.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Across the United States, Jewish community professionals are honing their skills of suasion, preparing to deal with a new crop of lawmakers who are unfamiliar with Jewish organizational priorities -- and who are likely to be unenthusiastic once they’re in the know.
This season of anti-incumbent sentiment, much of it swelling from the political right, presents the likelihood of a Republican takeover of at least one house of Congress. The GOP needs 39 seats to win in the House of Representatives; pollsters are predicting gains of 17 to 80 seats.
Apparently Carl Paladino, the Republican/Tea Party candidate for governor of New York, has a Jewish strategy: find the fringiest elements of the Jewish community, take positions that a majority of Jews will find offensive, and then sit back and wait for the Jewish votes to come your way.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- They were two Jewish aides who had offices within shouting distance of the Oval Office.
But the resignation last week of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff and the imminent departure of David Axelrod, the president’s senior adviser, is raising the question of what the disappearance of the president’s top two Jewish aides will mean for the Jewish community.
Top Jewish Democrats and leaders of Jewish organizations say there will be an absence -- of optics, not substance.
My story this week on Jewish Republicans and the Tea Parties is generating a lot of talk. And some of it is about stuff I missed, or didn't get to because of space.
A number of correspondents challenged the claim by Tea Party activists that this is all about fiscal responsibility, not at all about the “values agenda” issues that have traditionally made most Jewish voters nervous.
A new poll supports their contention; according to the Public Religion Research institute, rank-and-file Tea Partiers are pretty much indistinguishable from the Christian right core constituency.
But maybe that's one of the reasons Ohio Supreme Court Justice Eric Brown did a swing through Washington and New York this week – to get the word out to the Jewish political community that he's running for reelection next month and could use some support.
Brown, a Democrat, could have a tough go of it, since the rest of the Court is a solid wall of Republicans; hence the need for a jolt of political money.
As movement gains steam and plans minority outreach, concern in GOP circles.
James D. Besser
As the Tea Party wave sweeps across the nation’s political waters, Jewish Republicans are increasingly worried that the movement could wash away their hopes of winning over Jewish voters — even as leaders of the insurgency talk about expanded outreach to minorities, including Jews.
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