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Obama says: What Jewish problem?

by Brad A. Greenberg

November 5, 2008 | 1:30 pm

Looks like Barack Obama’s Jewish problem wasn’t a problem after all—unless you think carrying 78 percent of the community’s support a problem.

“The preliminary poll, which is likely to be updated later this evening or tomorrow, has Obama receiving 78 percent of the Jewish vote, to just 21 percent for John McCain,” JTA’s Eric Fingerhut explains. “Kerry garnered 74 percent of the Jewish vote in 2004, and Al Gore won 79 percent of the Jewish vote (with a Jewish running mate) eight years ago. The Jewish vote was 2 percent of the poll sample.”

That’s a remarkable proportion considering only a few weeks ago he was suffering under the 60-percent historic minimum for Democratic candidates. Last week, though, Gallup found 74 percent of Jews planned to vote for Obama. But the extra 4 percentage points suggests that some Jews who last month planned to vote for John McCain changed their mind.

I have no idea what happened, but I’m supposed to try to find out this morning, and to write a story about my travels last night, before lunch, at which point I’ll get back to blogging. There will be, no doubt, so much to say.

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