Democratic Jews Essay

Submitted By mikaelagarduno
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Mikaela Garduno
AP Government Per. 2 Democratic Jews
There are several reasons why the Jewish population in the United States leans more towards the Democratic Party. Over the recent course of our nation’s history the Jewish population has strongly been on the Democratic side. “Since 1916, the average vote for Democrats has been 71 percent compared to 24 percent for Republicans. George H.W. Bush was the last Republican to get more than 30 percent. Polls indicate Jews’ top priority, like most Americans, is the economy, but these underestimate the importance Israel plays in the voting decisions of many Jews.” Education, religion and the history of Jews with civil rights all play a significant role in determining why Jews vote predominately for the Democratic Party.
In the United States, the Jewish population has typically, extremely high levels of education compared to the U.S. as a whole. “To be specific, 59% of American Jews have a college or postgraduate education, compared to only 27% of Americans as a whole.” The fact that people with college degrees develop a more liberal state of mind than people without college degrees, Jews are more likely to identify as liberals and vote for the Democratic Party than the U.S. as a whole. In addition, there is a high correlation to of Jews and the Democratic demographic data. Jews and Democrats both over index in percent living in cities, percent with higher education, percent giving to others less fortunate (domestic or internationally).

“A specific reason for the big increase in Jewish support for the Democratic Party in 1992, it would be probably related to the rising influence of theologically conservative Protestant denominations in the Republican Party, otherwise known as the Christian Right. In 1992, the Republican National Convention gave a prominent speaking slot to Pat Buchanan, who has a long record of making anti-Semitic statements, which probably turned off Jewish voters. In addition, other Christian Right leaders might not have been personally anti-Semitic, but they engage in "America is a Christian nation" rhetoric that can leave Jews feeling excluded. Republicans had hoped they might attract Jewish voters in 2008 by drawing attention to Barack Obama's Muslim father, but this failed to make much of a dent in Jewish support for the Democratic Party either.” The key Jewish issue remains support for Israel. The pro-Israel position of candidates and party platforms have represented a powerful measure by which Jews defined political allies and identified enemies. Historically, Democrats were seen as the party more sensitive and committed to the interests of the Jewish state, but over time, and especially since the Bush presidency, this label may hold less value. Politicians are judged by their votes, statements, legislative and political initiatives, and relationships to Israel and its advocates.”
“Like other minorities such as Hispanics and African-Americans, Jews give the Democratic Party quite a bit of credit for being the first to move in favor of equal rights for all. Even today, the party pushes for civil rights such as abortion and gay rights that are opposed by Republicans. Jews have of course suffered from horrendous persecution and therefore are especially attuned to the parties' positions in these issues. This shared minority status helps account for why both groups have organized politically, and both it and Jews' religious and…