U.S. Jews Stay Loyal to Obama Despite Fierce Republican Efforts to Woo Voters

Democratic Jews laud Obama's victory in U.S. election, saying the Republicans' $15 million campaign to woo Jewish voters failed; Republican Jews voice concern for future of U.S.-Israel ties.

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In the months leading up to the U.S. election, both U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney worked tirelessly to secure Jewish support. On Tuesday, Obama proved victorious and won the 2012 election with 69 percent of the American Jewish vote.

According to an exit poll, posted on CNN's website, the result was commensurate with projections by pre-election polls by Gallup, the American Jewish Committee, among others, that Obama would win between 65 and 70 percent of the Jewish vote.

Republicans, meanwhile, noted the discrepancy between Tuesday's numbers and the 78 percent Obama garnered in 2008 exit polls.

Jewish Democrats lauded Obama's victory, praising the support given to him by American Jewish voters.

Steve Rabinowitz, a former press aide in Bill Clinton's White House, who ran a Jewish media hub in support of Obama's re-election, said: "We were out spent by Jewish Republicans by over $40 million dollars and they only have four points and another four years in exile to show for it. Some mazel (luck)."

"Since the New Deal, the Democratic Party has been the political home for the overwhelming majority of Jewish voters - and tonight's data affirms that the relationship between the Jewish community and the Democratic Party is as strong as ever," National Jewish Democratic Council President and CEO David A. Harris said.

J Street President Jeremy Ben Ami tweeted: "After all the millions, all the fuss, Jewish vote didn't move from Obama. Can myth of the Israel-centered Jewish voter be put to rest?"

Also on Tuesday, two Jewish Democrats – Lois Frankel and Alan Grayson - secured congressional seats in Florida in the elections on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Jewish Republicans were forced to accept a tough reality on Tuesday. Many voters voiced their concern for the U.S.-Israel relationship.
“I’m really worried because he does not have a good relationship with the president,” said one voter from Boca Raton, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “But it means I will just have to work harder with Congress because that is how we will protect Israel.”

Passover seder at the White House on March 29, 2010.Credit: AP
U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledges supporters during an election campaign rally in Aurora, Colorado, November 4, 2012. Credit: Reuters