It is an open secret in Jewish Republican circles: Donors are steering clear from Donald Trump, finding any excuses to channel their political contributions to congressional races and Super PACs supporting down-ballot candidates rather than writing a check for the controversial Republican standard bearer.
Now, the prediction and statistic analysis website 538 has put this trend into numbers — and the dramatic results confirm that Jewish donors are shunning the presidential candidate.
According to 538’s analysis, which was based on identifying Jewish donors by their names, place of residence and other factors, just 5% of contributions from Jewish donors went to Trump, compared to 29% for Mitt Romney in 2012.
The analysis found that of the $95 million given so far by Jewish donors to presidential candidates, 95% has gone to Hillary Clinton. In fact, at this point of the race Clinton has already gotten more campaign dollars from Jewish donors than Barack Obama received in the entire 2012 campaign.
A look at the share of Jewish donors on each side delivers further proof that Republican Jewish donors have turned their back on Trump. While Jewish contributors made up 7% of Romney’s donor base, they are only 3% of Trump’s.
Many Republican Jewish donors have been speaking openly about their difficulty in financially supporting their party’s presidential candidate this year. Most started off backing other candidates in the crowded GOP primary race and when left with Trump as the nominee, they chose to avoid giving to the presidential race altogether and focus their donations on supporting House and Senate races. Even mega donor Sheldon Adelson, the largest Jewish donor to speak out in favor of Trump, snubbed, the candidate by giving him only 5$ million after initially promising $100 million.
Trump’s finance operation is headed by Jewish Republicans, including national finance chair Steven Mnuchin and Lew Eisenberg who heads Trump Victory Fund.
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.