Midterms ’22: What Our Jewish Voters Are Thinking

With the clock ticking down to midterm elections on November 8, Moment checked in with the participants in our Jewish Political Voices Project (JPVP). In 2020, JPVP followed 30 Jewish voters from ten states through the primaries up to Election Day. This broad cross section of Jewish voters—old, young, middle-aged, Democrat, Republican—provided a mosaic of shifting attitudes about then-President Trump and the Democrats who were running to challenge him.

The 2022 midterm is shaping up to be no less consequential. Usually, midterm elections are a referendum on the party in power in the White House and, of course, on its occupant. (And typically, the party of the president loses seats on Capitol Hill.) But this year’s elections promise to be as much about the previous party in power and its leader, the former president. We picked ten veterans of our 2020 JPVP exploration to interview: five Republicans and five Democrats, all from swing states. Among them are a lawyer, a corporate executive, a few retirees, a member of Gen Z and a former member of Congress.

LAVEA BRACHMAN 

Age: 59
Location: Columbus, OH
Party: Democrat
Occupation: Visiting fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution
Jewish denomination: Unaffiliated
2020 choice: Joe Biden

Which Senate candidate will you vote for in Ohio, Democratic Representative Tim Ryan or Trump-backed Republican J.D. Vance, author of best-selling Hillbilly Elegy?

Tim Ryan, absolutely. J.D. Vance is reprehensible. He’s as bad as anybody in the Republican Party right now. Ryan is a moderate Democrat. He’s trying to run in the way that Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown runs here in Ohio, and I hope he can do it. He tries to appeal to the working class—the older, old-fashioned blue-collar white population. That’s where he comes from. So it’s authentic. I’m also a big supporter of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Nan Whaley. She is mayor of Dayton, and a friend of mine for a very long time. It’s probably a long shot for her to beat GOP incumbent Mike DeWine. But she’s a great person, a great candidate. Again, kind of a moderate Democrat, very principled.

Is Joe Biden too old to run for a second term?

Should he consider stepping aside? I don’t think I’ve formed an opinion on that. It would be best if there were another viable candidate. But such a candidate would have to be really, really careful to run a very centrist campaign. And I don’t know who has the backbone to do that. So it really depends on what the options are, honestly. Age is not disqualifying per se.

Are elections honest?

I think the questioning of elections comes from those who are not dedicated to real democracy and to letting voters’ voices be heard. J.D. Vance is embracing anything that Trump says and does. He’s an opportunist, and I think he’s despicable in every way. I’m concerned about gerrymandering. I’m concerned about the polarization occurring in our primaries. I’m a fan of ranked-choice voting, where voters rank all candidates by preference.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

I’m concerned about our democracy. I trust those who trust the process. And I want to vote for those who believe in our democratic process. After that, I guess abortion is pretty high up there. There’s a set of mainstream Democratic values: pro-choice, addressing climate change, supporting bills that increase taxes on the rich. I am really concerned about the increasing divide in our country, economically.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

I’m shocked by some of the revelations. It’s far worse than anyone ever thought. But also I’m not surprised. I hope the hearings and everything else are having an impact beyond the base of people who already believe Trump to have been responsible for what was going on. I’m already a pretty motivated voter. So nothing I see or read changes that.

ARIANA MENTZEL

Age: 36
Location: Beverly Hills, MI
Party: Democrat
Occupation: Assistant to the director of the Serling Institute for Jewish Studies and Modern Israel at Michigan State University
Jewish Affiliation: Conservative
2020 choice: Joe Biden

Which gubernatorial candidate in Michigan will you vote for, Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer or Trump-backed Republican Tudor Dixon?

I will vote for Governor Whitmer. I liked her from the beginning, even before she became the governor, and I think she’s done a really good job. To the best of her ability, she tried to keep us safe during COVID, and she almost lost her life due to a botched kidnapping attempt. Thankfully, the FBI intervened. Under Tudor Dixon, Michiganders would lose a lot of rights. Our public school systems would deteriorate. I would worry about our environment. I really just see her as a Trump candidate. So I would be very worried if she were elected governor. On the congressional front, because of redistricting, my congressperson will be Representative Rashida Tlaib. That’s a problem for me. The “Squad,” of which she’s a member, reminds me of Trump and his cronies who divide people with their extremes. I will likely leave my House vote blank. I will take a stand for my values on protecting U.S.-Israel relations, security for all Israelis (Jews and non-Jews alike), and a heartfelt preference for the two-state solution to the conflict.

Is Joe Biden too old to run for a second term? Should he consider stepping aside?

It’s not a yes or no for me. It’s a punt. I think he is old but he’s doing a decent job. If Joe Biden were to step aside for someone younger, I would be in favor of that. It would make us seem stronger. The Republican conservatives really like to use Biden’s age against him. His age isn’t detrimental. It might just politically be a good move to have a younger candidate.

Are elections honest?

I think voting generally is fair. The most unfair part is just how expensive it is to run a campaign. I donate drops in the bucket. But I just wish that money could instead be given to something else. When you hear of candidates raising millions and spending millions on a campaign, it just upsets me. I don’t know of any alternatives. Voter fraud is a non-issue. The real voter fraud is that it’s so hard for some people to get to their polling station. The lines to vote are so long. When I think of voter fraud, that’s what I think of.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

The tension within our party is a reaction to the Trump era, with some of us feeling that “moderate” is enough, and others saying there’s a need to go much farther to the left.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

I think abortion is probably at the forefront of my mind. Almost 800,000 signatures were collected to amend Michigan’s constitution to guarantee reproductive freedom. Currently, there is a law, going back to 1931, that outlaws abortion. But thankfully, our governor and other organizations have helped keep it legal. Michiganders will literally be voting on abortion this November. And polls show that a good number of Republicans will be voting in favor of reproductive freedom, which is a good thing.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

The news is just reinforcing what I already believe. For my own well-being, I have intentionally removed myself from the endless news cycle and pundits talking about anything political. I couldn’t sleep at night because of what so-and-so said and how so-and-so reacted. But now I’m like, as long as I know the facts, that is enough. And I’m sleeping much better!

RUTH KANTROWITZ

Age: 45
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Party: Republican
Occupation: Property manager
Jewish denomination: Declines to define
2020 choice: Donald Trump

Which Senate candidate in Nevada will you vote for, Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto or Trump-backed former Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt?

I plan to vote for Cortez Masto. I don’t vote along party lines but rather based on the people themselves. I will confess that I did not vote in the Republican primaries as I didn’t like any of the candidates.

Is Donald Trump an asset or a liability for the GOP?

I think Trump is an asset and that’s why the Democrats are working so hard to hurt him. The current administration is attempting to make him a liability. Trump still has a huge influence among Republicans, but yes, I think many are looking for other strong Republicans to run, namely Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Are elections honest?

I find the entire political system far from honest, including elections. Politics should be a service to people, not a means to become extremely wealthy. Our politicians care more about their own pockets than any of their constituents. The entire system is so fraught with back-scratching and wasteful, careless spending. Mailing ballots to people and not requiring ID to vote simply begs for fraud to be committed.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

I vote Republican because I can’t tolerate Democrat policies on handouts and Israel, but I would not call it “my party.” I voted Democrat through Obama’s second run. My biggest issue with the Republican Party is their pretend pro-life stance. It’s a blatant lie. Too many Republicans are actually pro-birth, which truly makes no sense; no Republican wants to fund feeding, clothing, housing and educating the kids they insist must be born. This is a hot-button topic for me.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

Abortion access is really a high priority for me, but as I’m too old to worry about such a thing, my vote will heavily be based on government spending and financial policies including inflation and gas prices. At the end of the day, it will be the position on Israel that determines my vote. I find many Democrats have abhorrent views on Israel, but I’m always hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations of former President Trump?

The January 6 hearings will assure I don’t vote Democrat, as I cannot support this waste of time and tax dollars.

MARK GOLDHABER

Age: 70
Location: Raleigh, NC
Party: Republican
Occupation: Consultant on housing and mortgage finance
Jewish denomination: Conservative
2020 choice: Jo Jorgensen (Libertarian)

Which Senate candidate in North Carolina will you vote for, Trump-backed Republican Representative Ted Budd or Democratic former state supreme court Chief Justice Cheri Beasley, for an open seat?

I’ll be supporting Congressman Budd. I think he’ll be better on economic issues, because there is an enormous amount of spending, which has helped lead to very high inflation. He has also been a strong supporter of Israel. So from my point of view, that’s a good combination.

Is Donald Trump an asset or a liability for the GOP?

I think you already see the party moving beyond Trump. That’s not to say that the former president doesn’t have any influence. He certainly does. I myself did not vote for Trump, and I don’t believe in the “Big Lie” that the race was stolen. If they choose to relitigate the last election, the Republican Party is not going to be successful.

Are elections honest?

I have a lot of faith in elections. I understand that when you have a very divided country, elections are very close. The election system is never going to be perfect because there are human beings involved. But I have confidence in the outcome of the last election. I think that all elections ought to be done with paper backup. And election laws should be in place well before the election and should not be changed in the last 30 to 60 days.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

I still consider myself a strong Reagan Republican. I want the party to focus on economic policy and smaller, less intrusive government—and be willing to defend democracy. I think the party will be more successful if they can show the difference between us and what I believe is an overly expansive Democratic Party. Having economic policies that aim at helping the average American is the right strategy. But a piece of the Republican Party is straying away from that.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

Certainly inflation is a major issue for me. It hurts the low-wealth community tremendously. If you don’t have stable prices, you can’t have a stable economy. And poor people get hurt a lot more than anybody else by inflation. Even in a period of rising wages, the wages don’t keep up anywhere near to the cost of food, gas and other everyday items.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

I think the hearings of the January 6 Committee show how many people did the right thing—people who were close to the president and were telling him the truth that Biden won the 2020 election, but also local secretaries of state around the country. I think that’s often missed in the discussion because it’s not sensational. The system actually worked the way it’s supposed to.

SHELLEY BERKLEY

Age: 71
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Party: Democrat
Occupation: Senior vice president, Touro University System; U.S. Representative for Nevada’s 1st congressional district, 1999-2013
Jewish denomination: Reform/Conservative
2020 choice: Joe Biden

Which Senate candidate in Nevada will you vote for, Democratic incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto or Trump-backed former state Attorney General Adam Laxalt?

I am enthusiastically supporting Senator Cortez Masto. She is doing a remarkable job, and I think it is very important to retain her in office. Incidentally, I was very close friends with her father, Manny Cortez, who was a county commissioner and the head of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. I’ve known Catherine since she was born. I supported her when she ran for attorney general, and I supported her in her first race for Senate. I’ve also known Adam and his family for many decades, but I am not supporting any election deniers.

Is Joe Biden too old to run for a second term? Should he consider stepping aside?

I think President Biden has done a very solid job under very difficult circumstances. He has had extraordinary success in the legislative arena and has made every attempt to restore this country to normalcy. He may walk a little slower, talk a little slower, but I think his mind is sharp. (I am in my 70s, and I’m very sharp!) If he runs, I will support him again.

Are elections honest?

I think that the future of our democracy depends on well-run elections and that we should rejoice, as a nation, that in the middle of a pandemic people showed up and voted. The ludicrous, disproven claim of substantial voter fraud in the 2020 election is undermining our democracy, harming us as a nation and doing a serious disservice to the citizens of the United States of America.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

I am concerned that the Democratic Party has a progressive element that is blatantly antisemitic. And that is why it is so important for people like me to remain in the party and continue to speak with intelligence and moderation. Antisemitism is wrong, whether it’s expressed by the right, where it’s rampant, or by the left, where it’s no less destructive.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

I’m not a single-issue voter. And while I’m looking for rational, intelligent, hard-working, dedicated public servants to represent me, I don’t have to agree with them on every single issue. However, I won’t support extreme candidates on either side of the aisle; I would no sooner support Senator Bernie Sanders than I would Donald Trump. I am only supporting candidates who believe in our democracy and work to make it better. And that’s particularly important to me because history has demonstrated that if you are in a governmental system that leans too far to the left or to the right, it’s the Jews who are ultimately hurt. We do well when there’s a vibrant democracy.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

I do follow the news. I have watched the January 6 Committee hearings. I am also interested in what’s happening in Georgia and New York. And what I am seeing, and what the country is witnessing right now, only makes me more committed to continue participating in the political process, supporting candidates, voting and encouraging others to vote as well. I am so tired of this nonsense of voter fraud and casting Trump as the ultimate victim. It is incomprehensible to me that a man who lives like a potentate at Mar-a-Lago is soliciting money from people who are struggling, and they are sending him money. It’s inexplicable.

ANDREW SMITH

Age: 60
Location: Columbus, OH
Party: Republican
Occupation: CEO of a family-owned resin producer
Jewish denomination: Reform
2020 choice: Joe Biden (reluctantly)

Which Senate candidate in Ohio will you vote for, Ohio Democratic Representative Tim Ryan or Trump-backed Republican J.D. Vance, author of best-selling Hillbilly Elegy?

I have not made up my mind. I used to think J.D. Vance was an admirable character. But ever since he started kissing Donald Trump’s ring, I’ve had to reassess. I’ve always thought highly of Tim Ryan. He is a very good person, and for a Democrat, I think he’s relatively harmless. But everything out of his mouth sounds like he is a Republican. I know it’s not true, based on his voting record and party identification. So it’s not easy.

Is Donald Trump an asset or a liability for the GOP?

He’s a negative any way you want to look at it. I find it quite distressing that his endorsement has appeared to help many Republican candidates. Vance, for example, was running third before the endorsement, and now he’s the Republican nominee. So can we as Republicans get past him? I think the answer is “Not yet.” There are many Republicans like me who do not support Trump and would like him to go away, even if it costs some support from the rabid right. Sadly, he’s going to stay in the limelight just as long as the limelight lets him.

Are elections honest?

I don’t think there is meaningful voter fraud. I do think that districting in this country is probably suboptimal, from many points of view. And I guess if you counted up how much Republicans benefit from gerrymandering versus how much Democrats benefit from it, maybe Republicans do better. I know they do in Ohio. I think it’s bad, even if one sort of unfairness is partially offset by another sort of unfairness.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

Because so many Trump Republicans turn out in primaries, non-Trump Republicans, independents and even conservative Democrats don’t have a say in who the nominee is. I was hoping for a resurgence of the Whig Party that could bring them all in. And perhaps that would be where I would give my loyalties. In the short and medium terms, I’m not bullish on the Republican Party; I think it’s going to be a long time before it’s cleansed from the very pernicious influence of Donald Trump.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

 

Typically, economic issues influence me the most at the federal level. My view is that the less the federal government does, the better. And usually what it does ends up not being good for business or taxpayers. I’m very troubled by Ohio’s policy on abortion, but I think that the Ohio state Senate and House races have a lot more to do with that than the U.S. Senate. So that’s where I will be choosing my candidates and thinking about social issues with respect to their positions. I do look at candidates’ views on foreign policy. And primary among those foreign policy issues will be their stances toward the State of Israel. In the U.S. Senate race in Ohio, issues and character will be equally important.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

January 6 was a terrible event, and I hope the people who committed criminal acts are punished. But with respect to Trump, I don’t think I’ve learned much about him that I didn’t know already. On the FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago, I think it’s horrible that this has led to threats and violence. And it just goes to show that Trump’s influence is not benign. There are nutty and potentially violent people who support this guy. Whenever he’s perceived as being a victim, they go nuts. That’s a very unhappy state of affairs in this country.

GLENN HAMER

Age: 53
Location: Austin, TX
Party: Republican
Occupation: CEO and president, Texas Association of Business
Jewish denomination: Conservative
2020 choice: Donald Trump

Which gubernatorial candidate in Texas will you vote for, Republican incumbent Greg Abbott or former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke?

I will enthusiastically vote for Governor Greg Abbott. He’s the governor of the strongest economy in the U.S. We have more Fortune 500 companies than any other state. We’ve been voted the best state for business by Chief Executive Magazine 18 times in a row. We’re the only state in the country that has gained two congressional seats. We export energy, and not just oil and gas. Beto would be bad for business. He made it pretty clear he supports high regulatory policy, and he’s close to labor unions. There’s no question within the business community that the state would be under better leadership with Governor Abbott.

Is Donald Trump an asset or a liability for the GOP?

Trump is not on the ballot, obviously. But I believe that the key Senate and gubernatorial races are going to be more of a referendum on the current party in power in Washington. The performance of the party in power is a drag on Democrats. There are a number of races across the country where the Trump endorsement probably has not led to the strongest candidates. I think the general consensus is that Trump’s involvement has increased the chances of Democrats keeping the Senate and Republicans losing some governorships. Trump doesn’t seem to care about it. He wants candidates who are loyal to him. You look across the country, and my suspicion is some of the candidates Trump helped are not strong candidates and will have a tough time in November.

Are elections honest?

There certainly is gerrymandering on both sides. Both parties do it and there is zero difference. Sometimes independent commissions can take the edge off it, but mostly it’s just a matter of who has the power. Trump lost the election in 2020. But I do think it’s important to have secure elections. I think voter ID has strong support and also that same-night results would ease people’s suspicion of funny business.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

From the perspective of a Reagan Republican or a free-market person, both parties have changed pretty dramatically in the last 25 years, and not in a good way. You have candidates getting through primaries who would not have even been imaginable back then. And very strong incumbents are losing in both parties. I don’t believe that Trump is a positive force in the Republican Party. He carries enormous sway, but I believe Republicans will pay a price, because parties should always be looking forward. Looking back at the 2020 election is not a great formula for winning other elections. I read Andrew Yang’s book (on forming a third party). It’s interesting. It is more appealing today than it has been at any point in my lifetime.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

The economy is the number-one issue. Inflation has probably peaked, but it’s still an issue most Americans feel on a daily basis and has put a lot of people, understandably, in a grumpy mood.

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Here in Texas, we want to make sure we can keep the economy moving forward. The other big issue in states like Texas and Arizona is border security. There’s bipartisan agreement that the current enforcement efforts are not working particularly well. So immigration and border security will almost certainly cut against Democrats. And I’ll say, Israel’s always somewhere on my mind when I’m voting. Governor Abbott is a very pro-Israel governor. He’s traveled there and is a strong supporter of the Jewish state. So he checks more than one box on the important issues.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

January 6 is a stain on our country and our history. It’s unconscionable, revolting, disgusting. I voted for Trump in 2020 because I thought his record was very strong across the board. I was voting for a ticket that I thought would be best for the United States. So it wasn’t out of great love for Trump. But for democracy to function, you have to accept election results. Vice President Al Gore’s concession to George W. Bush in 2000 is the model.

HANNAH ROSENTHAL

Age: 71
Location: Madison, WI
Party: Democrat
Occupation: Former president and CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Milwaukee; former U.S. State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism
Jewish denomination: Reform
2020 choice: Joe Biden

Which Senate candidate in Wisconsin will you vote for, Democratic Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes or Republican incumbent Ron Johnson?

Barnes is currently the lieutenant governor, and he also served in the legislature. He is a brilliant thinker and strategist. And I will proudly be voting for him. My biggest fear is that because Barnes is such a nice guy, he may not be able to withstand the onslaught of Republicans and Johnson— in particular the name-calling and bigotry. But I trust Wisconsin voters. They voted statewide for him to be lieutenant governor. He’ll be a wonderful senator.

Is Joe Biden too old to run for a second term? Should he consider stepping aside?

I think what’s good for the nation is for Biden to run again. He’s got the experience, the know-how, and strength of conviction on values, which I call Jewish values. Age is a fair question. I think, however, stability and understanding of what the president can or cannot do trumps everything else, excuse the expression. That’s Joe Biden through and through.

Are elections honest?

When you have legislatures that are one political party, they’re going to gerrymander to keep their jobs and their majority. I think reapportionment should be made by an independent commission in every state. It’s the fairest way to go, but that isn’t happening.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

I’m a proud Democrat. Our platform is solidly pro-choice, and it is strong on women’s issues writ large. It cares about civil rights, human rights and civil liberties. That’s the party I proudly belong to. Do I get angry at some members? Oh, yeah! Don’t ask me about Arizona Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema. And don’t ask me about some of the hate-filled, bigoted language from Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar. We still have Democrats who reach across the aisle and try to build consensus. But you do not see that with Republicans. If they do reach across the aisle, they get primaried. The Democrats remain a big-tent party.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

Women’s issues, voting rights and climate issues. Those are my top three. I have three grandchildren, and I want them to eat healthy foods. I want them to live in an environment that’s healthy. If we stay on course, we may be dooming the planet. And I don’t like that phrase, because it sounds like I’m exaggerating. But I’m not. And I don’t see any Republicans stepping forward and saying we have to make sure that people have the right to vote. As a matter of fact, they say the opposite: “I want only people who are likely to vote for me to vote.”

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

I don’t happen to believe that Donald Trump will run again. But I think there will be a lot of Trumpers who might. It’s clear that the Republican Party has sold its soul to the “Big Lie,” and that’s too frightening for me.

SANDER EIZEN

Age: 24
Location: Southfield, MI
Party: Republican
Occupation: Public opinion researcher
Jewish denomination: Modern Orthodox
2020 choice: Joseph Biden (with regrets)

Which gubernatorial candidate in Michigan will you vote for, Democratic incumbent Gretchen Whitmer or Trump-backed Republican Tudor Dixon?

I actually don’t know that yet. I’m not really a fan of either of them, but I think Whitmer is going to win. The Michigan Republican Party has put forward pretty distasteful candidates for governor and also for secretary of state and attorney general. It’ll be hard for me to support any of them. I actually need to learn more about Dixon. She’s such an unknown figure to me.

Is Donald Trump an asset or a liability  for the GOP?

I don’t see him as an asset for Republicans. It makes it easier for Democrats when all they have to do is campaign on being anti-Trump and not for reducing inflation or lowering the cost of living or bringing jobs back to the communities that need them. Trump being the topic of conversation makes things easier for Democrats.

Are elections honest?

If there is voter fraud, we should stop it. And we should always be proactive in figuring out how to prevent voter fraud in the future. I’m not saying voter fraud doesn’t happen. I don’t ever want to dismiss voter fraud as a possibility. But do I think it’s a threat to the integrity of elections? No, I do not. I think there are legitimate complaints about gerrymandering, and I would like to do away with congressional districts altogether. I think that we should do proportional representation at the state level. In Michigan, for example, if the Democratic list of candidates gets 48 percent of the vote, and the Republican list gets 45 percent, and the Libertarians get 7 percent, it would allow, maybe, for one Libertarian member of Congress from Michigan.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

The Republican Party is in a bad place at the moment. I’m slightly optimistic for the future—I just don’t know when that future will be. But at the moment, I’m not feeling too great about the state of the Republican Party. We’ve put forward a lot of very questionable candidates in what should be very winnable races (for instance, in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Arizona). I think eventually people are going to wake up after seeing the effects government spending is having on inflation. I think people are going to come back around to “Oh, maybe we shouldn’t pass trillion-dollar bills and start printing money.” There are some younger Republicans who are willing to work across the aisle while staying true to their beliefs. As time goes on, we’re going to see more of those Republicans come out of the woodwork as the Trump elephant-in-the-room dissipates.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

Inflation is the top issue. There just needs to be a coherent plan to actually lower costs for Americans across the country. Everybody’s feeling it. Inflation doesn’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat. And so, I’d like to see a plan, whether it’s from Republicans or Democrats. Israel is important for my congressional district, because Rep. Rashida Tlaib, the Democratic member of the far-left “Squad” who is hostile to Israel, is my new representative after redistricting. It’s unfortunate, to say the least, that the Democratic Party was way too splintered this time around to really make a difference in unseating her. So I’m hoping that when 2024 rolls around, we can all work together to unseat her.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

I don’t skip elections, so they have no impact on whether I will vote. Inflation is what matters most right now. The media likes to think that Republican voters think about Trump all the time. That’s just not the case. I know from working in the polling industry that the media thinks about Trump way more than Republican voters do.

NINA STANLEY

Age: 71

Location: Sarasota, FL
Party: Democrat
Occupation: Retired nurse
Jewish denomination: Unaffiliated
2020 choice: Joe Biden

Which Senate candidate in Florida will you vote for, Democratic Representative Val Demings or Republican incumbent Marco Rubio? And for Florida governor, former Republican Governor Charlie Crist (now a Democrat) or Republican incumbent Ron DeSantis?

I’m voting for Charlie Crist for governor and Val Demings for senator. DeSantis is a dictator: “You can’t say gay.” We have a lot of problems here in Florida that he’s not addressing, such as unaffordable housing. Instead he’s worried about gay people and drag queens. Plus, he’s most likely running for president. Also, DeSantis did not condemn the Nazis’ march in Orlando in January. So there you go. Rubio is just an opportunist. He’s on the Trump train, even though he once hated Trump.

Is Joe Biden too old to run for a second term? Should he consider stepping aside?

I’m 71 years old, and I’m not the same as I used to be. I’m not even the same as I was six years ago. Don’t get me wrong—I think Biden’s done a good job. He inherited a mess, and people aren’t giving him enough credit. But I think 80 is just too old to be the president of the United States.

Are elections honest?

Voter fraud is made up. When Trump lost to Ted Cruz in the 2016 Iowa primary he said there was voter fraud. When he won the 2016 election but lost the popular vote to Hillary, he said there was voter fraud. Every election he is in, win or lose, he claims voter fraud. That’s what he does.

What are your feelings about your party at this point?

I think what Democrats did to Republican Representative Peter Meijer of Michigan was terrible. Meijer had voted for impeachment, voted for gay marriage, voted for gun control. As Illinois Republican Representative Adam Kinzinger has said, the Democrats complain, “Where are all the good Republicans?” Well, there was one, and they put in all that money to help the Trump guy win the primary so Democrats could pick up that seat in November. Meijer really was a good Republican.

What issues will most impact your vote in this cycle?

Abortion and gun control are important. Inflation is terrible, but Republicans aren’t going to do any better with it. They haven’t put out a plan to get it under control. Look at the plan they had for Social Security, where they want to reauthorize it every five years. That’s scary. I like Social Security. I’m on Social Security.

Have you been influenced by any of the investigations involving former President Trump?

The hearings have been extremely revealing and informative. But I would vote whether they had a January 6 Committee or not. I would not vote for a Republican today. I mean, I wouldn’t vote for these Republicans.

(Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0) / Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-sa 2.0) / Kevin Lowry via Flickr (CC BY-nc-sa 2.0) / Phil Roeder via Flickr (CC BY 2.0) / Wikimedia) 

 

One thought on “Midterms ’22: What Our Jewish Voters Are Thinking

  1. hag says:

    One of the most important elections ever… BUT….
    So much negative advertising and ‘I approve of this add’ nonsense…
    That I actually knew less about the candidates than I have ever known…
    I do know about the endless baseball and football coverage… endless
    talk shows and all the glamorous young women … I guess this is
    what you call equality…
    and the new SPORTS gambling … our American idea of exercise..
    crunching beer cans

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