For a few days at least, the old joke about Israel being the 51st U.S. state feels true.
Super Tuesday Republican primaries were a race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, Republicans selected a Jewish veteran for Ohio's senate run, and Dennis Kucinich lost his bid for reelection.
Mitt Romney failed to land a knockout blow against rival Rick Santorum on "Super Tuesday," raising the prospect of a drawn-out battle for the Republican presidential nomination between the party's establishment and its grassroots conservatives.
Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona made a surprise return to Washington Monday to vote in favor of an agreement to raise the debt limit.
One winner has already been declared in the Iranian elections: The Internet, used by more than 23 million Iranians, or 34 percent of the population. But that figure alone cannot be used to determine which of the four candidates will win. At the very most, one can assume most Web users will vote for reformist candidates Mir-Hossein Mousavi or Mehdi Karroubi, rather than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Mohsen Rezeai.
The rise of Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as the Democratic front-runner, with Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) as a respectable second, will alter a lot of plans in Bush-Cheney re-election headquarters, and that includes plans for harvesting Jewish votes. Kerry's rise means an even more targeted Jewish GOP strategy, combined with an ongoing effort to pry Jewish campaign contributors loose from the Democrats.
Exploring the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, where Republicans once were the smallest of minorities, I happened upon a nest of recall supporters who were also great admirers of President Bush. Talking to them, I got a sense of the changing politics of Los Angeles' Jewish community, where votes can no longer be taken for granted.
They were students of Netan Eli High School, seated around a table in the lunch-room, talking politics. I'd happened on the school the previous afternoon while looking for people to interview about the Oct. 7 election. I introduced myself to Rabbi Sholom D. Weil, the principal, and general studies principal Avi Erblich, and they were nice enough to set up a meeting with students.
The debate over whether American Jews are turning to the Republican Party is not likely to be settled when the votes are counted on Nov. 5.
With midterm congressional elections just days away, Republicans cite a variety of reasons why this year's polls may not show the political shift they have been predicting for the past year. But Democrats say the election will be the best sign yet of where Jews stand on the political spectrum.
Tuesday's election results assert that the Jewish "customer" still counts, now more than ever, in the even playing field that is L.A. politics.