Why the Jewish Vote Matters — a Guide (2008)

Reference: Haaretz.com

By Bradley Burston

Haaretz.com, September 2, 2008

Viewed from foreign shores, the impact of the Jewish vote on U.S. politics seems an anomaly. Of every 100 Americans, only two are Jews.

Yet Republican and Democratic strategists have made Jewish voters a primary target of their presidential campaign. The reason is clear. The Jewish vote can decide an election.

In fact, the battle for the Jewish vote has grown more intense than ever, as the demographics and voting patterns of the Jewish population have veered away from a once-monolithic pro-Democratic posture.

In recent years, studies have shown that of the some 4 million Jewish voters, around 60 percent are dedicated Democrats, and about 15 percent committed Republicans. Most importantly for campaign strategists, the remainder, roughly one Jewish voter in four, is a swing vote. Across the nation, a million swing voters, most of them concentrated in states with large numbers of electoral votes, can easily spell an invitation to an inaugural ball come January.

In the current campaign, the major parties have targeted seven key battleground states whose Jewish populations, while relatively small in number and percentage, could bring candidates crucial electoral votes in a close contest.

Read the entire article: http://www.haaretz.com/news/why-the-jewish-vote-matters-a-guide-1.253060