THE BLOG
09/27/2012 01:21 pm ET Updated Nov 27, 2012

Mitt Romney Campaign Insults American Jews

According to Thursday's New York Times, the Mitt Romney campaign has "intensified an effort to lure" Jews to the Republican candidate. Seemingly undaunted by President Obama's 78 percent showing among Jews in the 2008 election and the recent American Jewish Committee poll showing him with 69 percent support among Jews in Florida now (Florida is the "swing state" with the largest Jewish population) Romney seems to be convinced that Jews still can be won over.

How? The Times reports:

Focused on South Florida, Ohio and Nevada, the Republican Jewish Coalition, backed mostly by the casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a Zionist, has begun spending $6.5 million on an air-and-ground strategy to reach Jewish voters who may view Mr. Obama as unreliable on the question of Israel's security. Jewish voters, who generally vote for Democrats in big numbers, overwhelmingly supported Mr. Obama in 2008, giving him 78 percent of their vote, according to exit polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

Think about that. The Romney campaign believes that the way to win the Jewish vote is by focusing on Israel. Forget, for a minute, the merits of the claim that Obama is no friend of Israel. (Hawkish Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says that the Obama administration is the most pro-Israel administration in history.) But that is not really the issue, literally.

Despite what Romney may hear from Adelson and others, American Jews do not vote on the basis of Israel. In 2008, the American Jewish Committee poll found that just 3 percent of Jews cast their votes with their focus on Israel.

Now check out the responses the American Jewish Committee poll received in September on which issues affect Jewish votes today [emphasis added]:

Among the following list, which is the most important issue to you in deciding how you will vote in the 2012 presidential election? Is the most important issue:

5% NATIONAL SECURITY
54% ECONOMY
16% HEALTH CARE
5% U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS
0% IMMIGRATION
1% TAXES
5% SOCIAL SECURITY
1% IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
1% CHURCH-STATE ISSUES
5% ABORTION

Among the following list, which is the second most important issue to you in deciding how you will vote in the 2012 presidential election? Is the second most important issue:

12% NATIONAL SECURITY
15% ECONOMY
25% HEALTH CARE
9% U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS
1% IMMIGRATION
2% ENERGY SECURITY
6% TAXES
10% SOCIAL SECURITY
1% IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
4% CHURCH-STATE ISSUES
7% ABORTION
3% DON'T KNOW/UNDECIDED

Among the following list, which is the third most important issue to you in deciding how you will vote in the 2012 presidential election? Is the third most important issue:

14% NATIONAL SECURITY
9% ECONOMY
17% HEALTH CARE
14% U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS
4% IMMIGRATION
6% ENERGY SECURITY
8% TAXES
10% SOCIAL SECURITY
2% IRAN'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM
1% CHURCH-STATE ISSUES
6% ABORTION

Pretty interesting. Jews, like their fellow Americans, are primarily concerned with domestic issues
with both Israel and Iran's nuclear program well down the list. This is not to say that American Jews are indifferent to Israel or the possibility of an Iranian nuclear weapon. It just means that they are not issues that determine their votes. Domestic issues do.

Mitt Romney has been led to believe that Jews are not like other Americans -- that we live here but our hearts are elsewhere. That is not true. It has never been true. And, once again, this coming election will prove it.

Mitt, stop treating us like foreigners.

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