A new Pew poll tell us that support for the Democratic Party has declined from 38 to 34 percent. Moreover, in a finding that will like give the president’s Jewish supporters hives, we learn:
Even Jewish voters, who have traditionally been and remain one of the strongest Democratic constituencies, have moved noticeably in the Republican direction; Jewish voters favored the Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer the Democratic Party by a significantly smaller 36-point margin.
Support for the GOP among Jews has gone from 20 to 29 percent since 2008, while support for the Democratic Party has declined from 72 to 65 percent.
It is true that the overwhelming majority of Jews still identify as Democrats. But there is no denying that under President Obama that support has fallen noticeablty. Are we to believe that this is all a result of “misunderstanding” Obama’s approach to Israel?
One of two things (perhaps both) is at play here. First, Obama’s Israel stance has concerned, if not angered, many Jews. And second, Jewish voters, like many Americans, are fed up with Obama’s job performance. Indeed, it’s so bad, even the historic attachment to the Democratic Party is not enough to prevent a steep drop off in support.
In 2012 the GOP can capitalize on this shift by nominating pro-Israel candidates (a certainty at the presidential level, where Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are all strong backers of the Jewish state) who have a sober approach to our economic problems. In some sense these former Democrats are like the swing voters at large: They don’t want a scary ideologues; They want problem solvers who are going to turn around the economic climate. Both parties should take note, and not take the Jewish vote for granted this year.