WNYC's Bob Hennelly is an award-winning investigative journalist. While at WNYC he has reported on a wide gamut of major public policy questions ranging from immigration and homeland security to power outages and utility mergers.
Can Democrats Count on Jewish Voters This Year?
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
For decades, Jewish voters were reliable members of the Democratic New Deal Coalition that coalesced around President Franklin Roosevelt and continues to define the political landscape. But a new survey suggests that American Jews, despite their longstanding allegiance to Democrats, are not immune to disappointment in President Obama. And Republicans are hoping to capitalize on the trend in the upcoming midterm elections.
Jews still vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, but over the last generation, Republicans have chipped away at that support. The GOP has gone from getting 11 percent, when the first President Bush ran for reelection in 1992, to 22 percent, when John McCain took on Barak Obama.
And now, a recent survey of American Jewish Opinion finds that support for President Obama is slipping — from 78 percent in 2008 to 51 percent with a month to go before the mid-term elections. That's more support for Obama than in the general population, where his approval rating averages around 45 percent support, but these shifts in Jewish opinion could make a difference in tight Congressional races.