Jewish Journal


Top Jewish Races

by Shmuel Rosner

May 1, 2013 | 3:02 pm

Seeing that there are some very high profile electoral races going on which have some very high profile Jewish participants, we decided to devote a special J-Meter feature to these curious electoral battles. While we will probably expand the scope of this feature as interesting new Jewish frontrunners emerge for top positions, at this point we have decided to focus on three major races- the NYC Mayoral race (Jewish Candidate- Anthony Weiner),  the PA Gubernatorial race (Jewish candidate- Allyson Schwartz), and the NJ US Senate Race (Philosemite candidate- Corey Booker).


The New York City Mayoral Race


Anthony Weiner speaks with reporters at a campaign event
New York, May 23, 2013, photo: Reuters/ Brendan McDermid


Anthony Weiner, the former congressman who made national headlines following a 2011 sex scandal (which has a pretty dense Wikipedia article dedicated solely to it), seems to be gaining ground in NYC's very tight mayoral race. Two recent polls- one by Marist (in collaboration with WSJ and NBC/NY) and the other by Quinnipiac- show that even though this is a crowded race, Weiner is surprisingly well positioned to become Mayor Bloomberg's replacement. There is a slight difference between the two polls though:

According to the Marist poll, Weiner has taken a five point lead over City council speaker Christine Quinn (25% to 20%). If we go by Marist, this seems to be a two horse race, with former city comptroller Bill Thompson lagging behind with 13% of the vote. If Marist's estimations are accurate, Weiner has shown some impressive progress in the past couple of months- only a month ago he was 5 points behind Quinn with 19% of the vote and he was only at 15% in April, before he announced his bid. Seeing that Quinn was polling at 26% at the time, Weiner has closed quite a gap.

According to Quinnipiac, this is a three way race-virtually a tie- in which Quinn (19%) has a two point lead over Weiner (17%), who in turn has a one point lead over Thompson (16%). Even though Weiner has been making some gains in this poll as well, according to Quinnipiac it is Thompson who has made the most impressive leap in the past month (rising 6% from the previous poll).















Pennsylvania Gubernatorial Race

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz

Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, dubbed a 'rising star' by Politico, has been one of the most noticeable Jewish politicians in the US for the past few years. A few months after being elected for her fifth term in Congress, Schwartz declared that she is going to challenge the not- too-popular Governor Tom Corbett in the 2014 Pennsylvania elections. Currently it seems that she has a significant early lead over the incumbent Governor, but there is still a lot of time before November 14'.








New Jersey Senate Race

Corey Booker announces his plans to run for the NJ senate seat
Newark, June 8th, photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz


Even though he isn't actually Jewish per se, ever since he declared he is running for late Senator Lautenberg's seat, Corey Booker has garnered more attention in the Jewish press and in relation to Jewish matters than almost any other US politician around these days. Booker has been in the middle of a very public ongoing debate between Peter Beinart and Shmuley Boteach about Israel. Jeffrey Goldberg even wrote an article entitled 'Is Corey Booker too Jewish to be Senator?' (at the end of which Goldberg promises his readers that Booker knows his Torah much better than any incumbent Jewish representative). Booker is definitely deeply interested in the Jewish faith and in Israel in particular, probably enough to be named an honorary Jew. So in the name of inclusion and in the spirit of Ruth the Moabite, we have decided to include Booker's campaign in our 'Top Jewish Races' feature.

So how is he doing? Recent polling suggests that he gets 54% of the vote while his closest competitors, Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, get 11% and 8% (respectively). Considering that the special elections are less than 4 months away, it looks like Booker is basically a shoe-in.










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