10.24.2008

Another Myth Fallen: Obama's "Jewish Problem"

Glenn Greenwald reminds us that the 'Jewish' problem -- touted by nearly everyone in the media -- which Obama was facing was/is bullshit:

The seven "blunders" they describe are certainly large and embarrassing, but there is a new one worth adding to the list: namely, Obama has a "Jewish problem," and Republicans are thus likely to attract a much higher percentage of the Jewish vote than even before. That theory was propounded all over the place, including by then-Weekly-Standard blogger and now McCain campaign spokesman Michael Goldfarb, who claimed earlier this year:

Obama has a Jewish problem, whether or not it's merely guilt by association is irrelevant. Politics is about perception, and the perception is that Obama's one step removed from the Nation of Islam.

Around the same time, Politico's Ben Smith was announcing "Obama's Jewish Problem." U.S. News & World Report detailed what it called "the uneasy evolution of Obama's relationship with a wide swath of the nation's Jewish voters."

The myth widely persisted -- from The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, and The Miami Herald to the lowest and dreariest precincts of the right-wing blogosphere -- despite its being definitively debunked by a handful of journalists, such as The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder, who, citing clear evidence, flatly declared back in March that "there is no evidence that Barack Obama has a 'Jewish' problem," and ABC News' generally excellent Jan Crawford Greenberg, who documented that these claims were based on unreliable, isolated anecdotes which "don’t reflect reality" and thus predicted "that Jews -- more than any identifiable demographic group other than African-Americans -- would turn out to support Barack Obama in November." In May, Salon's Madden also expressed serious doubts about the reliability of those growing claims after reviewing the relevant polling data.

From Gallup's release today entitled Obama Winning over the Jewish Vote:

Jewish voters nationwide have grown increasingly comfortable with voting for Barack Obama for president since the Illinois senator secured the Democratic nomination in June. They now favor Obama over John McCain by more than 3 to 1, 74% to 22%. . .

The current proportion of U.S. Jews backing Obama is identical to the level of support the Democratic ticket of John Kerry and John Edwards received in the 2004 presidential election (74%) . . . . Bottom Line: The Obama/Biden ticket is poised to perform about on par with other recent Democratic presidential tickets when it comes to support from American Jewish voters.

read more | digg story

blog comments powered by Disqus