Donald Trump © Carolyn Kaster
Donald Trump moved the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and accepted Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. Still, many Jewish voters don't trust Trump over ies.
Five percent of the vote is more than the difference by which candidates usually win Florida in U.S. presidential elections. For decades, the 29 electoral votes here have been awarded to the winner by much smaller margins; most recently in 2016 by less than one percent. Which explains why Donald Trump has chosen the roughly 650.Has targeted 000 Jewish voters in the Sunshine State.
Although more Jews live in Democrat-dominated New York and California, Americans of Jewish faith have "nowhere more political influence" than in the "swing state" of Florida, according to Ira Sheskin of the University of Miami's Jewish Demography Project. And they choose. 95 percent registered to vote, half of whom are over 65.
Trump's rebuke to American Jews
More than 80 percent of them live in south Florida, a sizable number in the neighborhood of the president's Mar-a-Lago mansion in Palm Beach. In Trump's mind, as he once complained, Jews are behaving "disloyally" to their faith when they vote Democrat. Because no president has "done as much for Israel" as he has.
He overlooks the fact that most voters of Jewish faith define themselves primarily as Americans who care about Israel as much as U.S. Catholics care about Rome. For the majority, as the Jewish Electorate Institute notes, Middle East policy takes a back seat to ies such as pandemic crisis management, the economy and health care. Only six percent consider Israel ie particularly important.
Only significant support among Orthodox Jews
For moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Trump drew applause mostly from evangelical Christians, who also consider the so-called "Abraham agreement" between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain more important than Jewish voters. The president has also been frustrated that his all-too-obvious closeness to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not making a difference in the Jewish voting segment.
In 2019, the Pew polling firm found that 42 percent of U.S. Jews do not approve of Trump's offensive partisanship of Israel. That U.S. Jews "support a right-wing U.S. Middle East policy" is a "total myth," according to the president of the liberal Jewish organization "JStreet," Jeremy Ben-Ami.
Currently, Trump only finds significant support among Orthodox Jews. But they make up only ten percent of U.S. Jews. Too little to score electoral points. The 50 million dollars with which the Jewish billionaire Sheldon G. Adelson reaches under Trump's arms.
Traditionally, US Jews vote for Democrats
Traditionally, American Jews vote for Democrats who are closer to them socially and socio-politically. Even nearly 100 years ago, more than 70 percent voted for defeated Democratic presidential candidate Al Smith, and 82 percent voted for Franklin D in 1932. Roosevelt. And the Jewish vote for Democrats actually rose to over 90 percent in the 1940s.
Former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is doing his part to keep it that way. He dropped $100 million for Joe Biden in Florida. Some of it goes to consolidating Jewish votes.
There, what Trump leaves behind as a domestic political legacy weighs more heavily: The president is weighed down like a mortgage by the surge in anti-Semitism during his time in office. Anti-Defamation League says anti-Semitic attacks are up 56 percent in 2019 from the previous year. Two-thirds of U.S. Jews say they feel less safe under the president, who has his media supporters hailing him as "the chosen one" and "king of Israel," than they did a decade ago