Washington — President Barack Obama rode a renewed mandate from Jewish voters to win an historic second term in the White House.
With a list of swing states painted blue as the vote count proceeded, Obama’s Democratic victory was clinched with narrow predicted victories in the battleground states of Florida and Ohio, both with significant Jewish populations.
Obama cemented his win by keeping a firm grip on the Democratic base, including Jewish liberals, along with a massive victory among African Americans and a huge win among Latinos.
Jewish Republicans have conducted their largest ever mobilization of activists and of funds, arguing that Obama, now poised to enter his second term in the White House, would maintain an unfriendly attitude toward Israel. The results of this massive Republican effort, according to exit polls conducted on election day, are mixed.
The early data indicates that 70% of Jewish voters chose Barack Obama, a slight decline compared to the 2008 election in which Obama won 74% of the vote according to a compilation of national and local exit polls. (Republicans maintain that Obama’s showing last night among Jewish voters should be compared to his national exit poll outcome in 2008 which was 78%.) Either way, the polls reflect some decline in the support of Jewish voters for the Democrats.
“As predicted, big drop!” tweeted Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition in response to the news on the decline in Jewish support for Obama. Republicans have argued that American Jews are gradually shifting toward the party and last night’s results confirm this trend.
Jewish Democrats brushed off the idea of a downward trend, noting that it corresponds with the national decline in support for the President in comparison to the 2008 elections.
“We were outspent by Jewish Republicans by over $40 million and they only have four points and another four years in exile to show for it. Some mazel,” said Steve Rabinowitz, a former Clinton White House press aide, who ran a Jewish media hub in support of the President’s re-election.