Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Exit polls: Obama gets 77% of Jewish vote

It's been my misfortune during the presidential campaign to spend far too much time dealing with smears concerning whether Barack Obama is good for the Jews, to refer to that old joke. (If you don't know the set-up to that punchline, write to me at and I'll email the joke to you.) Not since the McCarthy era has our political dialogue been so deluged with false charges of subversion. Guilt by association turned out to be one of the main planks of the Republican platform.

I have to admit that I was shocked to see otherwise intelligent people fall for and promote a series of obvious distortions produced by charlatans, professional liars and psychopaths. The fact that the anti-Obama smears were baseless didn't seem to matter as much to some Republicans as the fact that they might scare Jewish voters into voting against him, or not voting at all. I have lost considerable respect for a few respected columnists and bloggers who, purportedly motivated by a desire to defend Israel, chose to defame a man who promises to be her strongest friend.

I'm now happy to report that it didn't work.

from Haaretz: Barack Obama wins 77 percent of Jewish vote, exit polls show

Despite the tense rift between Republican and Democratic Jews over the course of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, exit polls on Tuesday showed that Barack Obama received about 77 percent of the Jewish vote.

These numbers were higher even than the 2004 election, when Democratic candidate John Kerry received 74 percent of the Jewish vote. Al Gore received the highest percentage of Jewish votes in 2000, with 79 percent.

Jeremy Ben-Ami, executive director of the J Street lobby group on Tuesday called Obama's victory a sign that the campaign waged against him by Republican Jews comprised "baseless smears."

"American Jews resoundingly rejected the two-year, multi-million dollar campaign of baseless smears and fear waged against him by the right wing of our community," he said. "Surrogates and right-wing political operatives in our community stopped at nothing in their efforts to sway Jewish voters against Obama."

"We can only hope that these results put to rest for good the myth that fear and smear campaigns - particularly around Israel - can be an effective political weapon in the Jewish communit," he added.

A Gallup poll released in late October showed Jewish voters favored Barack Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, with 74% saying they would vote for Obama over 22% for McCain.

The poll, which interviewed over 650 Jewish registered voters each month since June, showed American Jews growing increasingly comfortable with Obama since July, when the Illinois Senator tied up the Democratic Party nomination.

The poll showed support for McCain among Jews stood at a high of 34% in June, before beginning its downward turn in July after Obama's nomination

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actually, Obama got 78% of the Jewish vote, by most accounts, and almost 83% of the younger Jewish vote. That compares fairly well with other groups. Blacks supported Obama with 96%, but Hispanics did by 67% and Asians by 63%. I heard that Muslims supported him by 80%.


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