Jewish Democrats Fared Well in the Elections

Exit poll results published by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency this morning showed that President Obama had captured 69% of the Jewish vote. That figure is down nearly ten percent from 2008, but is substantially higher than the percent of support his rival, former Governor Mitt Romney received from Jewish voters.

Jewish Republicans fared poorly in the elections. State Treasurer Josh Mandell (R) lost to incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown (D) 45% to 50% in Ohio’s senate race. Meanwhile, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach was trounced by incumbent Bill Pascrell in the battle for New Jersey’s District 9 seat in the US House.  Back in July, National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) Head David Harris predicted this loss, saying, “I’m willing to call the race now. Write this down. He will lose dramatically.” Pascrell won over Boteach 74% to 25%.

Jewish Democrats were also disappointed in the results of some of Tuesday’s races. The NJDC issued a press release saying that it was “saddened” by the defeat of Representative Shelley Berkeley in in the Nevada Senate Race. Berkeley lost to Republican incumbent Dean Heller 45% to 46%. The NJDC praised her for “her powerful voice on Israel” and her stances on “reproductive issues” and said she would be “missed on Capitol Hill” by many members of the Jewish community. The NJDC also voiced sadness over Howard Berman’s loss to fellow Jewish Democrat Brad Sherman, though praised Sherman for his success.
Overall, however, according to Zach Pontz of The Algemeiner, the election was a success for America’s Jewish candidates. “No [Jewish] incumbent lost his or her seat except for Howard Berman in California’s 30th District,” he says. Berman, however, lost to fellow Jewish Democrat Brad Sherman.
Furthermore, says Pontz, “A few Jewish House members were even added.” These were Lois Frankel (D-Florida) and Brad Schneider (D-Illinois).  Pontz also points out that incumbents including Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) won re-election.

Jewish Republicans did see some success with their efforts to aid the iVoteIsrael program.  Indeed, according to Arutz Sheva, American voters in Israel voted for Romney over Obama at a 6:1 ratio. Furthermore, Americans living in Israel voted in record numbers in this election. According to an ivoteIsrael survey (quoted by Arutz Sheva), “5% [of Americans living in Israel] voted for Romney and 14% voted Obama.” Meanwhile “62% voted GOP and 28% voted Democratic.” Yet, although many of these votes came from voters who originally hailed from swing states like Florida, they did not give Romney enough of an edge to win.

Filed Under: Politics


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Miranda Flint About the Author: Miranda has a B.A. in political science and has worked over a decade as a news reporter, financial news writer and political blogger. More about Miranda

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