One of the most-obscure voter’s guide to cross my desk – actually my computer screen – in this election season arrived a few weeks ago, on the eve of the second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
Among the countless guides issued by various political, environmental, educational and religious organizations came one from a decidedly non-religious group: The Secular Coalition for America.
In the wake of a frighteningly widespread and devastating storm and on the eve of a high-stakes and bitter presidential election, much of our country is in need of healing and repair — physical, political and emotional.
I have always been aware that I am a woman. But never so much as I was these past few weeks. Starting out with the second Presidential debate last Tuesday night, carrying through the Moishe House Breast Cancer Awareness Shabbat and participation in the American Cancer Society’s annual 5 mile Breast Cancer Awareness walk, to my interactions with the New York Police Department, I have never been so hyperaware of the fact that I am a woman.
With Sen. John Kerry’s lead in New York dwindling to single digits according to two new polls, the heavily Democratic state may emerge as a surprise battleground in the final stretch of the election.
And if Jews, who have made up as much as 17 percent of likely voters here in recent races, support Republican George W. Bush as heavily as some believe, they could play a larger role than usual in deciding how the state’s 31 electoral votes are cast.
On the 33rd floor of the Grand Hyatt Hotel Tuesday night, Sheldon Silver’s mood transcended that of the Democratic crowd in the ballroom below. Silver, the state Assembly speaker, was elated that he had held onto his majority in the state’s lower house, and even gained a seat, as staff members and politicians in his suite noshed kosher deli sandwiches and checked off names and districts on a large chart.
Jews in the battleground states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania turned out in large numbers to vote Tuesday, despite rain and long lines in some parts of the country.
In Florida, exit polls by Frank Luntz, who has worked with Republicans in the past, showed that 74 percent of Jews supported Kerry and 23 percent supported Bush.
Robert Glaser, 72, of Boca Raton told The Jewish Week he had considered voting for Bush again but switched to Kerry in the last few weeks.
The bitterly fought 2004 presidential race may be remembered as the first election in recent memory in which the Republican incumbent put the Democratic challenger on the defensive about his support for Israel, essentially turning Israel into a wedge issue for Jews.
Concern about Israel was heightened by the four-year Palestinian intifada that has killed more than 1,000 Israelis, the fear of another terrorist attack in the United States and apprehension about the war on terrorism launched after 9-11.
Boca Raton, Fla. — Rosita Bard, a retired accountant from Lake Worth, came to a Republican Jewish Coalition training session at the Rascal House here two weeks ago and was clearly glad to meet fellow Jewish Republicans.
“Everybody I know is for anybody but Bush,” she said. “And they are so hostile. … I’m afraid to tell people I’m Republican. When I do, they say they can’t believe I’m Jewish.”
Boston — Even before Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts was to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president here Thursday night, a group of his friends was preparing to fan out across the country to stump key battleground states where the Jewish vote could spell the difference between victory and defeat.
Six months after the shooting stopped, Israel’s less than fully successful war in Lebanon continues to have diplomatic repercussions.
This week the State Department sent Congress a report saying that Israel “may have” violated restrictions placed on the use of cluster bombs during the war.