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January 2, 2012 6:00 pm

On Eve of Iowa Caucuses, Republican Jews Can’t Decide

avatar by Zachary Lichaa

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Republican primary candidates at a previous debate. Photo: Iowapolitics.com

Tomorrow night may provide the American public with a much clearer picture of who is to become the 2012 Republican nominee. Although the state of Iowa is populated by just over 3 million people, the amount of time and money spent there by Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann and the rest of the 2012 Republican nominees for President has been significant, because Tuesday nights caucuses provide an advantage to the winner. So what do Republican Jews in Iowa think of the candidates?

It turns out they’re very much in line with the rest of Iowa. They can’t decide.

According to recent polling, 41% of people expected to take part in Tuesday night’s caucuses had yet to decide on a candidate with less then a week to go. Will Rogers, a 15 year veteran of Republican campaigns both nationally and statewide in Iowa, who previously worked for Newt Gingrich’s 2012 run, says Republican Jews in the state are divided mostly between Romney and Gingrich.

“I have been talking with a lot of Jewish members looking to participate in the caucuses and I don’t get a clear consensus leaning in one direction or another”, he said. “Chabad just hosted a bagel luncheon with Newt Gingrich yesterday. I don’t feel the crowd left there feeling that they were going to vote for Newt. The vast majority of Jews in the Republican party like what Newt has to say but they’re far from convinced that he’s the right person to vote for.” On Romney, he said “I think Romney attracts Republican Jews here too…. he holds many of the political views of the established Republican base which many Jews are a part of – he is also professional, well educated and holds a conservative ideology in terms of government”.

A third of Iowa’s Jewish population of 6000 is expected to take part in Tuesday night’s caucuses.

“With a large percentage of Evangelical Christian organizations here, the nominees are very supportive of Israel, and so we find that the politicians talk about it a lot”, Rogers told the Algemeiner. Someone like Newt who has a great relationship with Sheldon Adelson and has always been supportive of Israel in Congress may seem like a good choice, but many Jews here in Iowa are having trouble deciding”.

Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a people synonymous with deliberation haven’t yest established a concrete answer. They’ll need to make up their minds very soon.

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