Tuesday, February 05, 2008

More on the Jewish Vote - Super Tuesday

We now have exit polling data from 5 states with sizable Jewish populations: New York (where Jews made up 17% of the Democratic primary vote), Connecticut (10% of the Democratic primary vote), New Jersey (9%), Massachusetts (6%), and California (5%).

In a previous blog, I surmised on the basis of last week's Florida exit polls, that Senator Barack Obama had a "Jewish" problem. Tonight's Super Tuesday results do not bear out that initial analysis. In New York, New Jersey, and California, Senator Hilary Clinton won the Jewish vote (though in California it was paper-thin). But in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Obama won the Jewish vote. On one extreme, in New York, Jews voted for Clinton over Obama 69-29. In Connecticut, on the other hand, Obama won 61% of the Jewish vote.

So it appears that Jews are energized as ever to vote Democratic this election cycle, and the efforts by the Obama campaign to calm potentially nervous American Jews have succeeded to some degree. My bet is that when the raw numbers are calculated, the national Jewish Super Tuesday vote broke in Clinton's favor, but not by a whopping margin. I still believe that there remains a potential "Israel-friendly" calculation which will conceivably impact the American Jewish vote in an Obama-McCain national race to a far greater degree than a Clinton-McCain national race. But only time will tell.

Final note for the night: I am writing this at 11:39 pm Eastern time. None of the news organs has called California yet. But if the CNN exit polling data is accurate (54% of the Democratic voters in California are female, and Clinton won the female vote 57-39), it looks like Hillary will win California, with the same margin as she won New Jersey. At 11:44 pm, Obama appears before his supporters and the national media before California is called. If the Obama campaign thought they were going to win the big one, they would have held off a little longer, having already missed the late night news. It is going to be quite a race. I'll wait for the California call, then time to go to bed.

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