Jewish Journal


OPEN POST: The Jewish Vote: Obama 70%, Romney 30%

by Shmuel Rosner

November 6, 2012 | 3:26 pm

A security guard directs New Yorkers waiting in a line to vote, November 6, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Check out Shmuel Rosner's new book, The Jewish Vote: Obama vs. Romney / A Jewish Voter's Guide

Rosner's Domain Jewish Party Identification - how do America's Jews vote? 

Things to watch on election night: A Jewish Voter’s Guide


00:41am EST

The exit polls are pointing to a small drop in Jewish support for Obama - down from 74-78% in 2008 to 70% this time around. Democratic Jewish operatives wasted no time in pointing fingers at their Republican counterparts, with one even going so far as to say that the money spent on wooing Jewish voters could have been better spent on swing states and "other persuadable voters". The Democrats have consistently bashed their rivals for making Israel a divisive "wedge issue" when it was long bipartisan. It's worth remembering though that in a country so cleanly split in two, Jewish voters are still overwhelmingly Democratic.


11:59pm EST

And here's another one. Steve Rabinowitz, a washington PR exec and former Clinton White House press aide, who ran a Jewish media hub in support of the president's re-election: "We were out spent by Jewish Republicans by over $40 million and they only have four points and another four years in exile to show for it. Some mazel".


11:31pm EST

Let the games begin - here's Jewish Democratic operative Aaron Keyak: "Despite unprecedented Republican efforts and millions of dollars spent to win over the Jewish vote, Republicans performed within the margin of error of their 2008 performance when Obama got 74%. That's not even to mention that their wasted money targeting Jewish voters helped usher in the second term for President Obama by having taken away much needed resources from other persuadable voters and swing states".


10:43pm EST

As often happens on election nights, the exit polls keep changing as the numbers are being updated by the teams of statisticians. So now the big number was changed, in favor of President Obama. Apparently, it is not 68% for him, it is 70% - and 30% for Romney. This will make the debate over the 2008 numbers that we described earlier even more contentious.

9:26pm EST

J Street info: "A new survey of American Jewish voters across the country and in key swing states will offer the most comprehensive examination of Jewish voters on Election Day – assessing their voting preferences and priorities, and their opinions on Israel. The survey comes on the heels of an unprecedented campaign by Sheldon Adelson, the Republican Jewish Committee and the Emergency Committee of Israel spending tens of millions of dollars to sway the historically loyal Democratic voting block by turning support for Israel into a partisan wedge issue".


9:26pm EST

Exit poll puts the New York Jewish vote at 6%, no data yet on how they voted...

8:46pm EST

Initial national vote by religion: 2% Jewish, going 68% for Obama, 31% for Romney.


8:45pm EST

Jewish vote in Illinois: 1% 


8:44pm EST

The Jewish vote in PA is 4%, according to exit polls, no details available. It was 4% in 2008 as well, with no details.


8:03pm EST

Exit poll: Jewish vote in Florida is 5% - 66% for Obama, 31% for Romney.


8:02pm EST

4% of Connecticut voters are Jewish – but we don’t yet know how they voted. In New Jersey, 2% of the vote is Jewish according to the initial exit poll.


7:57pm EST

Exit polls in Ohio show a very low percentage of Jewish voting, just 1%. I suspect this isn’t the final number, but right now it means that we how no clue how Jewish Ohioans voted.


7:26pm EST 

Following up on my previous post: This time, the Jewish Republican poll is going to include the unaffiliated. I suspect that Jewish Democrats will still find reasons to take issue with it – but it will have to be something else.


6:30pm EST 

Jewish Democrats are already warning of the results of a Jewish Republican poll expected tomorrow. The methodology used by the RJC in past surveys was questionable, as those polls didn’t take into account the category known as “just Jews”, namely, the unaffiliated Jews. Democratic pollster Jim Gerstein is also going to publish a poll, possibly sooner than the RJC poll.

In 2010, when such two polls came out they had markedly different outcomes. But as Rom Kampeas reported back then: “There's a simple reason for this, and for why J Street and RJC polls differ: RJC's pollster, Arthur Finkelstein, seems to have polled only the affiliated. His respondents divided up only as Orthodox, Reform and Conservative. J Street's Jim Gerstein included Reconstructionist Jews and the unaffiliated in his poll”.


6pm EST 

I spent the morning visiting a couple of precincts with high concentration of Orthodox Jews in Beachwood Ohio. These are precincts that went 71%-28% for Obama in 2008, 65%-35% for Kerry in 2004, and 77%-22% for Gore in 2000. I can’t tell you what the numbers will be this time around, but based on the dozen or so interviews I had the time to do, Romney is likely to get numbers closer to those of the 2004 Bush than to the 2008 McCain.


The Jewish vote 2012


% of state vote







New Jersey







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