Your email is not valid
Recipient's email is not valid
Submit Close

Your email has been sent.

Click here to send another


What The Midterms Mean for the Jews

A quick chat with pollster Douglas Schoen

Print Email

Douglas Schoen is a Democratic pollster whose latest book, co-written with Scott Rasmussen (of the eponymous polling outfit), is Mad As Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System. I called him up to get his thoughts on Tuesday’s results.

Which races did you work on, and were you pleased with the outcomes?
The only race I worked on was Andrew Cuomo’s [for governor of New York]. I was pleased with how we did. I was not particularly pleased with how the election turned out. It was a repudiation of Democratic policies and politics.

78 percent of Jews voted for President Obama in 2008; only 66 percent voted for Democrats yesterday. How does this bode for Obama’s prospect of receiving a similar level of Jewish support in 2012 as he did last time?
Elections are not only referenda on incumbents, they’re choices—particularly presidential elections. It isn’t clear what or who the Republican alternative nominee and policy will be and what Obama will say or do. My biggest and most obvious comment is I think it’s all a work in progress, uncertain.

Those statistics may suggest the beginnings of movement away from Obama. On the other hand, if Jews voted 66 percent, that’s still 20 points more Democratic than the rest of the country. That’s slippage, but compared to the national movement, it may well be less pronounced.

I think the Jewish community is concerned about Obama, I think there’s a lot of doubt. But I think what we’ve seen at the elite level, where there has been a move away from him, is not necessarily fully reflected in mass public opinion at this point.

For the first time, we saw some genuine members of the Tea Party be elected to powerful offices. Is this, as they say, good or bad for the Jews? What about for Israel?
Well it’s a good question, but the problem is I have not heard any of the Tea Party candidates provide a detailed description of what they would do on foreign policy or on Israel. I also have no clear sense whether the peace talks will be revived anytime soon. I have a big question mark over whether the election will impact the Jewish community or Israel.

Any closing thoughts?
Israel needs to have a message going forward of what it stands for positively: What are the goals of the Jewish state beyond resisting Arab incursion, beyond surviving. It is an extraordinary thing with viable industries, a talented workforce, diverse communities, that high-tech sector. I hope Israel is able to remain that, and hopefully the United States will do everything it can to support that.

Print Email

Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180

Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.

Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.

We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.

frank wilmington nc says:

This guy being interviewed knows FULL WELL that the Republican Party, & the Tea Party, stand with Israel. We all see Obama turn his back on Israel – who is being told not to build apartments while Iran is building Nukes. People are contacting PM Netanyahu, even on his Facebook page, myself included, apologizing for our President Obama, walking out on him during their first meeting.. Go on & google it. Lets hear some truth for a change. Sean Hannity is the biggest media supporter for Israel.

Just look at our 20th Century history:
Populist/Socialist = Anti-Semite.

Lenin/Stalin/USSR Regime, Hitler and National Socialist Workers’ Party, Socialists of Europa, Democrats/Progressives of the USA. Israel’s Avoda, Meretz &Co.

Clearly shows, despite all the accolades we grant to ourselves, how dumb we are statistically as people.

And enough of this “pro-Israel” crap!!! Any principled man is pro-Freedom, pro-Democracy, pro-Free Enterprise and True Equal Opportunity.

Just look at our 20th Century history:
Populist/Socialist = Anti-Semite.

Lenin/Stalin/USSR Regime, Hitler and National Socialist Workers’ Party, Socialists of Europa, Democrats/Progressives of the USA. Israel’s Avoda, Meretz &Co.

Clearly shows, despite all the accolades we grant to ourselves, how stupid we are statistically as people.

And enough of this “pro-Israel” crap!!! Any principled man is pro-Freedom, pro-Democracy, pro-Free Enterprise and True Equal Opportunity.

Aren’t we constantly hear that Schumer & Frank are “pro-Israel”. Just give them your vote and later they’ll do everything possible to take down US and Israel with it. How could we forget an absolutely hysterical fight Schumer put against John Bolton? And he won!!!

Today UNESO called Caver Machpela a “Palestinian” Heritage Site. Thanks, Capo. Your prayers are answered!

Schoen puts the burden on Israel to prove to the U.S. that it’s worthy of support from Obama. Israel is supposed to have goals beyond mere survival, as if that weren’t enough. Israel is, and has always has been “an extraordinary thing.” Everyone knows that except Schoen and the liberal Jews he works for. Jews who think like Schoen can’t understand that Obama has to prove to Israel, and American Jews, that HE is worthy of more than mere survival.

These Jewish liberals are incurable and untreatable. They will follow any leftist in American politics, without asking any questions. In the US, the stiff-necked people have become meek little sheep.

It amazes me how a large percentage of Jews still support Obama, albeit in lesser numbers than in 2008. His dislike for Israel was so predicatable prior to the 2008 election based upon who his “friends” and advisors were. This was not rocket science; all the bells, whistles, and alarms were sounding. His treatment of the Israeli PM in March simply solidified what his inner beliefs really are. I think some older Jews still believe FDR is alive and well. The need to push the Democratic Party lever in the polling booth almost seems to be genetically ingrained. Given the choice to vote for Henirich Himmler if he was running as a Democrat and Mother Theresa running as a Republican; they would vote for Himmler!!!!

I can’t agree that “Jewish liberals are incurable and untreatable”. Some of them – professional politicians or journalists – are not able to shut down their ideology (and source of income) and face the facts. For example, the expression “beyond surviving” by Douglas Schoen highlighted his ethical deafness and maybe even cininsm. And the same deafness to Israel is displayed by other professional democrates – Jews or not.
These 66% have different reasons to support dems. If the 12% (78-66) did switch then the others could do it also. Maybe we have to help them. In 2012 it is even more important.

The Jews have become the guardians of the ancien régime… An ossified bureaucratic state, striving to make life regimented for all citizens. Why do we need to be like this?

Eva Deutsch says:

Most American Jews are shooting themselves in the foot, they do not know who their enemies are. They lack the Jewish identity and don’t know who they really are.
After living in New York for 61 years and trying to connect with the Jewish community I have to admit that I have failed. I have lost virtually my whole community in the Holocaust and I am deeply saddened that the American Jewry has never accepted me.

I have many Christian friends who truly love me and appreciate me.

Too many are self-hating Jews.
What a “shande”

Eva Deutsch

American Jewish liberals would vote for Pol Pot if he was the Democrat candidate.

Dorothy Wachsstock says:

I agree with Jon and sad for Eva Deutsch. What can I say but Jews are not the smartest anymore. They do not watch how Schumer, Ackerman, Lowy or the other Jewish elected officials vote and they automatically vote for anyone with a D next to their name. It will kill us all for this action.

Ill in bed in 1994, I watched Congress and was shocked as I saw our Jews vote just the opposite to pander to other ethnics and not vote for Jewish issues, as they had promised.

The democrat party of today, with Pres. Obama who dislikes this country and Jews and Israel as his actions have shown is not the party of our grandfathers or our fathers. It is today a socialist communist party…they know better than we do.

This Pres. has humiliated P.M. Netanyahu, (I know I have written this before but new readers need to know) spit in Israel’s face and only been quiet due to the fact that Sen. Reid asked him to wait till after the election.

Do you think we believe that two polling stations lost outage and voters had extra hours in Nevada in order to allow flashlights to work to get Reid elected? Sure we do.

We do not trust Pres. (Elmer Gantry)Obama or anything the government tells us anymore. They refuse to call it a war or terrorists as our soldiers have new Rules of engagement for them bo killed but not Muslims.

Dept of Justice is anti-white and allowed to remain that way. Hope the republicans have hearings why the charges were dropped against the New Black Panthers when the conclusion was a done deal. Why terrorists are now called what???? And the soldiers that are dying in Afghanistan are fighting a “man made disaster”? Can you believe the insanity of that name.

We count on the republicans to find out all the things that Pres. Obama has been hiding and investigate the dept of Justice who have told their agents only to file charges against white people and not black people. Is that not racist?

If we are the enemies, Jews better wake up and vote republican and welcomed.

I’ve said that least 4957532 times. The problem this like that is they are just too compilcated for the average bird, if you know what I mean

My partner and i still can’t quite believe I could often be one of those reading the important ideas found on your website. My family and I are sincerely thankful for your generosity and for providing me the advantage to pursue our chosen profession path. Appreciate your sharing the important information I got from your site.

Thanks so much for this. I thought I discovered plenty of great stuff here yesterday after spending all day going through this private area.

You are my intake, I own few web logs and rarely run out from brand :).

As a Newbie, I am constantly browsing online for articles that can aid me. Thank you


Your comment may be no longer than 2,000 characters, approximately 400 words. HTML tags are not permitted, nor are more than two URLs per comment. We reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments.

Thank You!

Thank you for subscribing to the Tablet Magazine Daily Digest.
Please tell us about you.

What The Midterms Mean for the Jews

A quick chat with pollster Douglas Schoen

More on Tablet:

Wolf Blitzer Explores His Jewish Roots

By David Meir Grossman — CNN host visits Yad Vashem and Auschwitz for the network’s ‘Roots’ series