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November 03, 2004

Jews for Bush

According to an article in the Jerusalem Post (link via Best of the Web Today, and thanks for your link to my Ohio math), based on a small sample, a significant number of Jewish Gore voters voted for Bush this year.

The American Jewish Committee, in a tiny sampling of roughly 200 Jewish voters in five battleground states, found roughly 12 to 13 percent of Jews who voted for Al Gore in 2000 switched parties and cast their vote for President George W. Bush on Tuesday.

"From our exit sampling, very strong support for Kerry. But strikingly, a fairly significant number of Jews switching from Gore in 2000 to Bush, somewhere in the order of 12-13%," said David Harris, AJC's executive director, who examined data, which he stressed was not scientific.
Keeping all the obvious caveats in consideration, and treating this as just better than anecdotal evidence, this is still a big deal. The 12-13% of Gore voters is about one-eighth. If 80% of Jews voted for Gore in 2000, as the article claims, that means that (making some obvious assumptions) the Jewish vote for Bush rose by about 10% over 2000. A 10% shift reduces the percentage difference between Gore/Kerry and Bush by 20%. (The Republican Jewish Coalition believes that Bush went up from 19% in 2000 to about 25% this year, which is less than the AJC estimates.)

As I've said before, we'll never know the real Jewish vote for Bush. I strongly suspect that a fair percentage of Jewish Bush voters would not admit publicly that they had voted for him, even to exit pollsters or people from the American Jewish Committee. We can only guess and add a few percent to whatever the official estimate is.