Fate of U.S. Jewish Vote in Question Following Surprise Republican Win

A Republican victory in the special elections to replace disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner has caused some to ponder whether or not American Jews are deserting Obama and the Democratic party over its Israeli policy.

The turmoil in the wake of a special vote to elect a new representative for a New York City district seems to refuse to die away, with many seeing the upset Republican victory as an indication of a swing in the Jewish vote ahead of the 2012 presidential elections.

Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin in a special election Tuesday to succeed Rep. Anthony Weiner, a seven-term Democrat who resigned in June after a sex texting scandal.

Bob Turner September 13, 2011 (AP)

But a big story coming out of the elections seems to be the fact that the once Democratic and Jewish stronghold has ceded power over to the Republican Party because of Obama's policy toward Israel and the Middle East.

In a statement released following the Republican victory, the Republican Jewish Coalition said that the victory "in an overwhelmingly Democrat district is a significant indicator of the problem that President Obama has in the Jewish community."

"While party leaders scramble to deny and try to stem the erosion of Jewish support for Democrats, the real issue is this President's policies on Israel, on jobs, and on the economy," the statement said, adding: "Jewish voters are coming to see that Republicans offer real solutions to our economic crisis, are resolute friends of Israel, and represent a way forward to a better future."

Democratic Party Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz , however, countered Republican claims of a Jewish vote-swing, telling reporters that she was "confident that the President all over the country will receive once again an overwhelming majority of the Jewish vote, and this president has an incredibly strong credit on Israel and strong credit on domestic issues.‬"

The unexpected Republican win, and its supposed consequences in regard to Jewish support of the Democratic party, also garnered a response from the White House, with spokesman Jay Carney saying that the "special elections are often unique and their outcomes do not tell you very much about future regularly scheduled elections."

"Are Americans in general anxious, not happy with Washington? The answer is yes. And I would say, as we’ve said, that every elected member of Congress -- elected official, rather, who is up for election in 14 months needs to take that mood very seriously. And the President certainly does, because he knows he works for the American people -- that’s why he’s out there pushing the jobs act. And he believes that members of Congress need to take it seriously as well," Carney added.