2003 July 06 Sunday
American Jews Still Overwhelmingly Democrats

The National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) has done a poll that shows Jews are still overwhelmingly loyal to the Democratic Party.

The NJDC findings show that "American Jews remain strongly Democratic -- 64 percent describing themselves as Democrats, and 26 percent as Republicans," compared with the electorate as a whole, which is evenly split. About 64 percent of Jews would like to see Democrats retake control of Congress, while 24 percent want to see the GOP retain control, compared with the electorate which, again, is split almost evenly, according to the NJDC analysis.

The NDJC are thrilled by these results.

Washington, DC: In response to a statement today by the Republican Jewish Coalition, in which the RJC got it flat wrong in describing the sample size of a national, independent poll released on Tuesday showing that Jews remain strongly Democratic, National Jewish Democratic Council Executive Director Ira N. Forman today made the following statement:

“We do not expect our Republican counterparts to be happy about the results of the new, independent polling data released yesterday, as the data show that American Jews are remaining strongly Democratic. But we are disappointed that the Republicans could not even get the facts right when it comes to the specifics of this poll. “The RJC today wrote that this poll’s Jewish sample size was 99, supposedly resulting in a large margin of error. In point of fact, this national poll aggregated data across five quarters, obtaining a weighted sample size of 450. This resulted, as we wrote yesterday, in a margin of error of 4.7 percent for this poll.

While among Jews as compared to the country as a whole Bush lags in approval rating on foreign policy by only 10 points he lags in other categories among Jews by much larger percentages.

The Ipsos/Cook Political Report Poll additionally shows that American Jews over the survey period have been dramatically less approving of President Bush’s job performance than other Americans. While 57 percent of all Americans approved of the President’s handling of the economy, only 35 percent of Jews approved; and while 54 percent of all Americans approved of the President’s handling of domestic issues, only 33 percent of Jews approved. Regarding overall job approval, Americans throughout the survey have approved of the way President Bush has performed on the job by a margin of more than two to one, while Jews have been evenly split. The polling results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.7 percent.

Note my emphasis added on the sentence about religious groups.

“Aggregating polling sub-samples for small populations – such as American Jews – is a standard practice in examining public opinion for populations that are hard to sample. For example, it is clearly good enough for The Gallup Organization. In September of 2002, Gallup released an aggregation of Jewish sub-samples from 21 separate Gallup surveys conducted over a year and a half. In their analysis, the aggregated sample size was 408. The Gallup Organization found that ‘the Jewish tilt toward Democratic orientation is the most pronounced shift from the national average of any of the major religious groups in the country.’”

But to categorize Jews as a religious group seems somehow incomplete. They are also quite effectively an ethnic group. Well, Jews are not the most heavily Democratic ethnic group in America. Blacks are. Jews are more heavily Democratic than Hispanics but Hispanics are also pretty far from the national average.

Due to large scale immigration of other ethnic groups Jews and non-Jewish whites are diminishing as a percentage of the electorate. Since the biggest ethnic group that is inceasing as a percentage of the electorate is Hispanics the country is still going to shift leftward even as the influence of Jews diminishes.

The leaders of the Republican Party continue to be in denial that demographic trends are running heavily against the GOP (for foreign readers: GOP is Grand Old Party which is another term for Republicans). Eventually the Republicans will have to shift leftward if they want to continue to win elections and they will become the Rino Party: Republicans In Name Only. Or, Pataki Republicans. This is already happening. For instance, Congress is voting in Medicare drug entitlements even as Medicare heads for bankruptcy. I really wish the demographic trends were not running toward support for larger government and the entitlements state. But that is the way it looks to me and I call 'em as I see 'em whether I like it or not.

One interesting consequence of the demographic trends is that the US will eventually pull back from much of its global polceman role. The US already is not spending enough to field a military force large enough to do everything that assorted bleeding hearts want to write moral checks for. The cry for intervention in Liberia is a recent case in point as are the inadequate US forces for maintaining order in Afghanistan and Iraq. Meanwhile, Iran and North Korea are working away at developing nuclear weapons and we do not have enough resources to properly handle those threats.

But I digress. The bottom line here: Jews are not going to shift en masse to the Grand Old Party, all Republican neocon dreams notwithstanding. Neither are the Hispanics or the blacks.

Update: The Forward reports on efforts to recruit Jews to the Republican Party.

But such figures don't stop the Republicans from trying to woo the Jews — and they expect that their efforts, like the direct-mail fundraising in which they began investing in the late 1970s, eventually will pay off handsomely. As part of its grassroots outreach, for example, the Republican National Committee has a program to encourage Jews, Hispanics and blacks to sign on as "team leaders" — activists who receive information and then send it out to their own e-mail lists, magnifying the effect. According to Timothy Teepell, the RNC's director of grassroots development, there are 2,000 Jewish "team leaders" — as compared to 3,000 Hispanic and a similar number of black ones. Given the relative size of those populations — there are estimated to be between 5.5 million and 6 million Jews, 35.3 million Hispanics and 34.6 million blacks in the United States — Jews appear overrepresented in the effort, an indication of the importance GOP leaders attach to Jewish outreach.

Hope springs eternal.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2003 July 06 04:19 PM  Politics American Domestic

wretchard said at July 6, 2003 10:24 PM:

One interesting consequence of the demographic trends is that the US will eventually pull back from much of its global polceman role.

America doesn't have a choice. If September 11 proved anything, it's that the oceans don't protect us any more. All the things near and dear to Jews, Blacks and Hispanics -- like jobs and personal safety -- are directly dependent on airplanes not blowing up buildings in downtown Manhattan. Neither the stock market (and pensions) nor things like Medicare will survive in an America without security. In the hierarchy of liberties, life comes first and even the last drug dealer in the last fire escape in the last tenement knows that.

Bob said at July 7, 2003 9:06 AM:


The question is: How long will everyone remember the proof?

I see no evidence that September 11 caused a real and permanent shift in the will of the people. As the political environment shifts to the left, I expect to see foreign policy shift away from proactive intervention to ensure American security and shift back to superficial, ideological, kumbaya inter-societal token interference.

Time will tell.

M. said at July 7, 2003 1:49 PM:

The US is now 4 nations in 1 political state,white,black,asian and "hispanic".Blacks are heavily dependent on the public sectro economy,latinos are moving in that direction and baby boomers are now starting to feather their retirement nests at public expense.
Our future is one of increasingly nasty fights over the spoils system,till it collapses like the french spoils system will soon do.
I suspect white baby boommers will be very shocked at just how unwilling blacks and laitnos will be to allow them to move to the head of the line for goodies.
We will pull back from an activist foriegn policy for lack of money buy guns and lack of cohesion at home as we fight over "free" butter.
The only multi-cultural,multi-ethnic states to last any lenght of time were very autocratic regimes dominated by 1 ethnic group.As the SC has just more rather than less gutted the 14th amendmant,guess were we're heading.

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