January 19, 2012 | 5:06 pm
Posted by Steven Windmueller
Steven Windmueller, Ph.D.
Jews are like other American voters, but more so! Sociologists have suggested that this fascination and engagement with politics has come to represent the “civil religion” of American Judaism. More than 80% of Jews who are eligible to vote actively exercise this democratic privilege!
As with every American voter, different issues are seen as important to individual Jewish voters.Yet, based on the data from an array of surveys, there are a set of priorities that define for many Jews their core interests and shared concerns. In selecting candidates for the presidency and other federal positions, Jews frequently reference these ten elements (Clearly, no one can speak for a community or even for an individual voter, but this compilation is drawn from an array of studies that have examined Jewish political attitudes):
In addition, acknowledging that individuals have particular interests or priorities, some of the most pressing issues for Jewish voters include:
(Again, these findings are taken from a number of studies and interviews concerning Jewish voting priorities.) In the American Jewish Committee annual surveys of Jewish leaders, those who participated where asked to identify their political orientation:
|1. Extremely Liberal||6|
|3. Slightly Liberal||14|
|4. Middle of the Road||28|
|5. Slightly Conservative||12|
|7. Extremely Conservative||3|
|8. Not Sure||2|
From these studies and others that have been conducted over time, one can identify over time the configuration of the “Jewish vote” as consisting of primarily a moderate-liberal base of voters (64%). Yet, as we have noted in earlier blogs and other writings, Jewish voters can be found in all sectors of the political spectrum.
Your comments and insights pertaining to this election series are encouraged.
Steven Windmueller, Ph.D.
Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Service
Los Angeles campus
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