Election 2010

Barney Frank wins in Mass.

For weeks we've been hearing about how Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), one of a small handful of openly gay House members and a liberal bastion, could lose to Republican Sean Bielat in a race some critics said was tinged with gay bating.

Well, so much for predictions; the AP has been called for Frank, and projections have him winning some 61 percent of the vote to 36 percent for Bielat.

Frank was a big Tea Party target, and apparently that didn't make much of a difference in a night that's shaping up as a mixed bag for the insurgent movement, but with some high profile losses.

Schakowsky wins easily in Ill. in J Street-shadowed contest

In a congressional race that took on J Street overtones, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat, easily turned back a challenge by political newcomer Joel Pollack, a Republican who made criticism of the incumbent's positions on Israel the centerpiece of his campaign.

Pollack also had vocal support from Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz.

Schakowsky was supported by the J Street PAC, so the race will be one in a series that will be interpreted as a referendum on the pro-Israel, pro-peace process group.

Grayson, freshman Jewish House member, loses

Rep. Alan Grayson was one of the new members of the Jewish delegation in the House – and he was one of the first defeated on this Bloody Tuesday for the Democrats.

Grayson, an outspoken liberal Democrat who sometimes suffered from foot-in-mouth disease, lost to Republican Daniel Webster in Florida's 8th district.

Grayson blamed low Democratic turnout, but his controversial statements – including a Holocaust allusion in the health care debate that got him in trouble with the ADL – were undoubtedly a big part of Tuesday's results.

Blumenthal wins, Hodes loses in Senate bids

If you care about how many Jews serve in the Senate, early returns contain bad news and good news.

In Connecticut, Democrat Richard Blumenthal has defeated pro wrestling mogul Linda McMahon, a Republican, according to NPR and Reuters.

Obligations For Tough Times

11/02/2010
Editorial

Economists may proclaim the Great Recession over, but a great many people in our community are still hurting. And for large numbers of them the health and human service programs funded through the Jewish federation system are an indispensable lifeline.

Ky. Senate race called for Rand Paul; Big Problem for Jewish GOPers?

Update: CNN is calling the Delaware Senate race for Democrat Chris Coons, who apparently will beat Republican/Tea Party darling Christine O'Donnell. That's better news for the Republican Jewish Coalition, which also refused to endorse her candidacy.

In the non-surprise of the evening, libertarian/Tea Party favorite Rand Paul looks like an easy winner in the Kentucky Senate race.

This isn't good news for Jewish Republicans, who otherwise seem poised to have a pretty good night. The Republican Jewish Coalition conspicuously spurned Paul as being outside the GOP mainstream.

Exit polls point to dramatic conservative surge

Looking at some of the early exit polls, there's a fascinating one by NPR.

According to the public radio folks, 41 percent of today's voters labeled themselves “conservative.”

Why is that important? It's up from 34 percent in 2008, 32 percent in 2006. That's a pretty dramatic shift, and points to how the final tallies are likely to go tonight.

It will be very interesting to see if we get some Jewish numbers on that question

Greenfield: Seniors Can’t Read New Ballots

11/02/2010
Assistant Managing Editor

Senior citizens are complaining that paper ballots designed by New York’s Board of Elections are too small to read, says City Councilman David Greenfield.

New York state switched this year from antiquated voting machines to ballots that are filled out and then scanned and recorded by computer.

Since candidates for local judgeships, Assembly and Senate, Congress and four statewide offices are included on one sheet, as well as a ballot proposal on term limits, the type may be too small for those who are visually impaired.

More on Tuesday's election, the expected GOP wins and Obama Middle East policy

Since last week's story on the issue I've had a lot more conversations about the impact of tomorrow's election and likely GOP gains on the Obama administration's Middle East agenda. But talk doesn't necessarily lead to illumination.

Jewish hawks and doves are pretty much divided in parallel ways.

Election 2010: Rage is Not Enough

11/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Political seasons do not always bring out the best in our political system. The impulse to draw sharp distinctions to win elections exacerbates differences but fails to provide sufficient content to inform voters. When elections are combined with high unemployment, rising foreclosures, and increasing economic desperation, the voices of some become shrill and the voices of the vast majority are weary and often mute. But this year's posturing, acrimony, and ill will seems to have hit a new peak.

NCJW president Nancy Ratzan
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