In an election cycle that carries very little good news for Republicans and even less for Jewish Republicans, there’s a glimpse of hope on Long Island.
Lee Zeldin, the only Jewish Republican currently serving in Congress, is on track to keep his seat, according to a recent Newsday/Sienna College poll. Zeldin, according to the poll, holds a 53 to 38 percent lead over his Democratic challenger Anna Throne-Holst.
This is Zeldin’s first reelection campaign since being elected to Congress in 2014. The poll found he is doing a better job than his challenger in attracting voters from his own base and that he is more recognized by voters than Throne-Holst.
Zeldin has been an early supporter of Donald Trump and has thus far rejected calls to drop his endorsement. But while other GOP candidates nationwide had felt that their support for the presidential candidate is creating a drag on their own campaign, Zeldin did not seem to suffer any backlash from his decision to stand by Trump. In his district, which includes central Long Island, Zeldin is outperforming the Republican presidential candidate, who is polling at just 43%.
After the 2014 surprise primary loss of former House Majority Leaders Eric Cantor, Zeldin remained the only Jewish Republican in Congress. However, Jewish GOP activists are hoping that David Kustoff will win a seat in Tennessee to join Zeldin in the House of Representatives.
Nathan Guttman staff writer, is the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Ha’aretz 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. Contact Nathan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @nathanguttman