The Corner

Politico: American Jews Have Reached a ‘Tipping Point’ with Obama

Ben Smith has a fascinating front page piece in Politico titled “Jewish Dems Losing Faith in Obama.” The kicker line is this: “Based on the conversations with POLITICO, it’s hard to resist the conclusion that some kind of tipping point has been reached” regarding Jewish support for Obama. The piece has a number of to-be-expected comments critical of Obama from disaffected Jewish voters, but the most damaging quotes come from Jewish Democrats who remain on Obama’s side. According to Smith, DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz — trotted out “to combat the story line of Jewish defections” — “said she’d detected a level of anxiety in a recent visit to a senior center in her South Florida district.” And Smith also noted that Obama fundraisers “said they think Jewish doubts are taking a fundraising toll.”  According to Daniel Berger, who is working on a Philadelphia fundraiser for Obama, “We’re going to raise a ton of money, but I don’t know if we’re going to hit our goals.” 

The 2012 Republican candidate does not need, and should not expect, to win a majority of the Jewish vote. But if disaffection with Obama eats into the Democrats’ traditionally healthy margins among Jewish voters in states like Florida and Ohio, and reduces his fundraising potential in the Jewish community, it could signal real trouble for Obama’s reelection hopes.

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide. His latest book is Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.

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