One of Donald Trump’s favorite lines when addressing Jewish American or Israeli listeners, is that if he ran for office in Israel, he’d get “98 percent” of the votes.
He’s not exaggerating by much.
Just as the remarkable life she lived, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, sparked a mix of awe, appreciation and political controversy. And the coming days will provide much of the same: a celebration of the life of a trailblazing legal giant who served for many as the nation’s moral compass, and at the same time, a fierce partisan battle over the appropriate timing of choosing Bader Ginsburg’s successor.
As part of our Jewish Political Voices Project, Moment has been following 30 voters—3 from each of 10 battleground states—over the last 12 months as the political climate continued to shift and the pool of Democratic presidential candidates narrowed. As one of their final check-ins before casting their ballots, our voters shared their thoughts on the Trump and Biden campaigns, voting by mail and more.
“In this age of pandemics and polarization, it may be hard to envision. But it’s not a mystery. Someone who prizes decency and embodies dignity. Someone who exercises empathy and exhibits patience and understanding. Someone who lives, breathes and acts on the basic beliefs which are unique to Jewish tradition and universal in application—to pursue justice, welcome the stranger, open your hand and your heart to the needy and love your neighbor.”
Joe Biden, the comeback grandpa, had the best Super Tuesday anyone could have imagined. In fact, he performed so well, from solid wins in southern states, to surprise victories in Massachusetts and Minnesota, and an unbelievable upset in Texas, that some are already speculating that it’s all over and Biden is on a safe path to clinch the Democratic nomination.
There’s still a long road ahead, and if anything, Biden has proven time and again that he has a rare talent for ruinous missteps. But still, he is now the frontrunner in a narrowed-down Democratic field.
In terms of the Jewish community, a Sander vs. Bloomberg match would be a moment of pride mixed with a fair amount of communal oy vey. The pride part is obvious. The oy vey relates to the not unreasonable concern over the rise of anti-Semitic stereotypes relating to either candidate. Clearly, pride overpowers concerns about haters just using this as another reason to hate, but the ride would be a tough one.