Thursday, November 09, 2006

Jews Love: Democrats

Well, sort of.

To give a bit of background, Jews, Italians, and the Irish traditionally voted Democrat because they primarily lived in cities where the Democratic party machine was alive and well (ie New York, Boston, Chicago). The party machine traded votes for social services, and courted immigrants pretty heavily. Additionally, the single greatest determining factor of the way a person will vote is, believe it or not, the way that their parents vote. So, if you follow that reasoning, populations that traditionally lived in big cities, whether or not they continue to do so, will vote Democrat, because their parents/grandparents/great-grandparents did. It takes a lot for a population as a whole to shift their votes to another party.

Ok, history lesson over. It is pretty clear that a lot of Jewish bloggers vote Dem. Or support the Dems, or at the very least, oppose the Republicans. To name a few: Smeliana, David Kelsey, Mobius, everyone at Jvoices, most of Jewschool, and probably a good number at Jewlicious. I'd even be willing to bet that Esther K votes Dem. Not to mention the ever-outspoken Dovbear.

However, according to Daled Amos, although Jews tend to vote Dem as a whole, he points out an issue in the polling process. He says, "the CNN exit poll treats the Jewish vote as monolithic--it does not take into account the difference in attitude towards Israel between those Jews who are more religious and those who are less religious." Yet it does not do so with Christians, dividing them up by church attendence, evangelicalism, or lack thereof, and race. He goes on to suggest that if Jews were polled in the same way that the numbers would mirror those for Christians, with the more traditionally observant tending to vote more right.

Robert Avrech of Seraphic Secret wears his Republican views on his sleeve, a practice of which I am actually fond (as I may have mentioned earlier, I prefer to know someone's bias). He discusses the statistics that Daled Amos appears to be looking for, saying that the RJC (Republican Jewish Coalition) found that "just as in the larger population, the more a voter attends religious services, the more likely he or she is to vote Republican. Among those who attend synagogue almost every day, 35.2% voted Republican. Among those who attend once a week, 31.8% voted Republican. And among occasional attendees, 23.1% voted Republican."

While the trend remains the same, the numbers are a bit different. Let's compare:
Jews who attend synagogue every day: 35.2% Republican
Christians who go to church more than weekly: 60% Republican

Jews who occasionally attend synagogue: 23.1% Republican
Christians who occasionally attend church: 39% Republican

Just something to keep in mind.


Benjamin J. Cooper said...

I'd like to see a further breakdown of these numbers by state, etc. Jews tend to live in areas where everyone votes Democratic, and in fact the Republicans are lame and weak, so the votes are skewed.

For example, in New York state, who doesn't vote Democratic for nearly every office? The Republicans haven't had a contender really worth voting for (other than in the NYC mayoral race) since...Pataki?

If 35% of Jews vote Republican, that's about the number of people who voted against Hillary Clinton, right?

Other big places for Jews to live: Massachusetts, where Ted Kennedy is trying to succeed Sen. Byrd as Oldest Guy You Can't Stand, and Connecticut, home of the Republicans' favorite Jewish Democrat.

And then there's California.

I think the Rhode Island and Pennsylvania elections would be more revealing. Virginia's out because Sen. Allen was not only so wacky about his Jewish mom, but also because Jim Webb is not exactly what you'd call a standard Democratic Party standard bearer. It doesn't tell us how Jews would vote given a policy choice between individuals, as opposed to a choice between two conservatives, one of whom wants to make sure we all know how much his Jewish mom loves cooking pork.

The Town Crier said...

Its a good thing the community was not duped by those insane ads by the republican jewish coalition.