If you haven’t seen it yet, the PEW Forum on religion and public life just published a new analysis of party identification by religion. The bottom line, as far as Jewish voters go, is pretty clear: “Even Jewish voters, who have traditionally been and remain one of the strongest Democratic constituencies, have moved noticeably in the Republican direction; Jewish voters favored the Democrats by a 52-point margin in 2008 but now prefer the Democratic Party by a significantly smaller 36-point margin”. No wonder that Jewish Republicans were quick to release a statement and gloat.
“Jews are shifting away from their traditional allegiance to the Democratic Party and are showing a willingness to support the Republican,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. Florida might have been a downer – but the PEW survey gives Jewish Republicans good reason to feel vindicated.
It is important though to look at the PEW survey carefully as we try to understand its meaning. You might remember that a couple of weeks ago I posted a long analysis in which I asked if Jews really trend Republican (you can read it here), using, among other things, the PEW data from 2006 to 2010. So now we also have 2011, and the PEW trend line of Jewish political tendencies looks like this: