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November 6, 2012 5:30 pm

Presidential Campaign 2012: The Jewish Voters That Count

avatar by Alan Steinberg

A map of Ohio voters. Photo: Screenshot.

The strains in the relationship between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have resulted primarily from policy differences between the two leaders regarding boundaries, Iran, and “the Arab Spring”.   The rift between the two leaders may result in a backlash against Obama in the American Jewish community primarily in two significant Jewish constituencies:  1) the Orthodox; and 2) non-Orthodox Jewish senior citizens, for whom Israel is a more salient issue than for non-Orthodox younger Jewish voters.

Because of its large Jewish senior citizen and Orthodox Jewish constituencies, the swing state of Florida is the state where there will be the most significant defections of nominally Jewish Democratic voters to Mitt Romney.  There will also be significant defections of Jewish Democratic voters to Romney in the critical swing state of Ohio, particularly in Cuyahoga County (Cleveland), and in Pennsylvania, particularly in suburban Philadelphia.

New York and California, which have large Jewish populations are safe Obama states, where even major defections of Jewish Democratic voters to Romney, are unlikely to affect the outcome.

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