Jewish support for the Democratic Party dropped some 10 points, according to exit polls, though President Obama swept a victory with heavy Jewish support nevertheless.
According to figures released by the Republican Jewish Coalition, Jewish support for the President dropped from 78% in 2008 to 69% yesterday.
Obama won Florida, which has a large Jewish vote, by a narrow margin, despite attempts to woo Jewish voters away from the President. All along I-95, the main thoroughfare in South Florida, Republican-sponsored billboards proclaimed messages like “Obama…Oy Vey!!”
“The Republicans tried very hard and a lot of outside groups spent a lot of money to attract Jewish voters,” said Kevin Wagner, a professor of political science at Florida Atlantic University. “They made some inroads, but not enough to make a difference. 70 percent of the Jewish vote for Obama is not bad for the Republicans, but they need to get in the low 60s to effect the outcome” in the state.
According to the RJC, the Republican share of the Jewish vote jumped from 22 percent to 32 percent , which they say is part of a trend in which Republicans have gained support among Jewish voters in five of the last six national elections.
“The Democrats’ loss of support among Jewish voters indicates continued unease in the Jewish community with the President’s handling of U.S.-Israel relations,” the organization said in a statement. “The President dropped three points with all voters versus ten points with Jewish voters.”
“The results demonstrate that President Barack Obama and the Democrats saw a significant erosion of support from 2008, while Republicans continued their trend of the last several decades of making inroads in the Jewish community,” Matt Brooks, executive director of the RJC, said. “The RJC is encouraged by the gains we made in 2012 and by the continuing movement in the Jewish community toward the GOP. Despite the discouraging election results, we’re pleased by the gains we have made in the Jewish community.”
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