Here’s a question that will surely be asked incessantly until the next presidential election: Will American Jews desert the Democratic Party and throw some of their electoral weight and considerable financial clout to Republicans in 2012? Already, there have been claims and counter-claims, polls that seem to be no more than political advertisements and occasional level-handed analysis, such as a solid piece of reporting done by the Forward’s Nathan Guttman a few weeks ago.
Since I wonder whether this is simply a preoccupation of our tribe and of little interest to anyone else, I find myself searching for smart political reporters outside the Jewish world who can bring some neutrality and perspective to the debate. So I was especially glad to read Dick Polman’s column yesterday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Polman, a former colleague of mine, has one of the clearest voices in the jumbled cacophony of political reporting, and I find him unafraid to cut through the babbling and use plain facts and historical perspective to write what he sees.
And how does he answer the question? “(D)octors will cure the common cold before most Jews vote GOP,” he writes, and then he backs up his claim with data and analysis. It’s an important read.
Jane Eisner, a pioneer in journalism, became editor-in-chief of the Forward in 2008, the first woman to hold the position at the influential Jewish national news organization. Under her leadership, the Forward readership has grown significantly and it has won numerous regional and national awards for its original journalism, in print and online.