Multiple polls this year lend credence to the Republican Jewish Coalition’s belief that they are on the path to success. If their results are accurate and the currently undecided Jewish vote splits, Mitt Romney could secure over 30 percent of the Jewish vote. Such a performance would approach the highest levels of Jewish Republican support since Ronald Reagan won 39 percent of the vote in 1980. According to polling by the American Jewish Committee in the spring, the most likely Jewish Republican voters were those who cited either national security or U.S.-Israeli relations as one of the most important issues in deciding their vote. Thus, the RJC’s “Buyer’s Remorse” campaign, with its foreign-policy themes, is well-targeted to increase Republican votes.
But Democrats continue to believe that Jews will persist in voting for them at the same rate. Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz scoffed at polls in July that showed increased backing for Republicans: “There actually has not been an erosion of support.” But the Democrats’ willful ignorance will cost them. Brooks argues that the Democrats’ position is comparable to the technology market: “The Democrats still sit back and say, we still got 70 percent of the Jewish vote.” In his view, the Democrats are Microsoft, once the dominant power in the personal-computer marketplace, while the Republicans are Apple: “While Microsoft sat and twiddled its thumbs, Apple went and became the dominant player — and now the roles have been reversed.”
This election could be a watershed moment for the Republican Jewish Coalition. The same economic issues that are driving voters to Mitt Romney may also move Jewish votes to the GOP’s column. And Obama’s mistreatment of Israel should inspire Jews to give Republicans a chance. The president has insisted on putting “daylight” between America and Israel’s positions, and made the unprecedented demand that Israel return to its indefensible 1967 borders. The RJC is prepared to welcome Jewish Democrats into the fold.
— Nathaniel Botwinick is an Agostinelli Fellow at National Review Online.