WASHINGTON – The majority of Jewish voters in the US presidential election voted for the Democratic Party's candidate, and now US president-elect, Barack Obama, Wednesday's segmentation of the votes revealed.
According to the data, 78% of the Jewish voters in the US lent their vote to Obama while only 21% voted for his opponent, Republican Senator John McCain.
Back in 2004, for the sake of comparison, 75% of the Jewish vote went to Democratic candidate John Kerry, while US President George W. Bush received just 24% of the votes. The 2000 presidential election saw 82% of the Jewish voters choose the Democrat's Al Gore, a decision believed to be motivated partially because Gore chose Jewish Senator Joe Lieberman as his running mate.
Barack Obama had to fight for the Jewish vote. Initial campaign polling data indicated that 30% of the Jewish votes were McCain's, and the Republicans soon began a smear campaign against Obama in order to widen the gap.
Polling station in New York (Photo: AP)
Beginning with mass emails reporting of Obama's supposed Muslim background and culminating in attempts to portray him as pro-Palestinian and link him to known terrorists, the Republicans went on to spend some $2 million on advertisement on television and in various Jewish newspapers in the US, to that effect.
Campaign efforts were aimed at states known for their large Jewish communities, such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Nevada. Political sources in Washington, however, denied the Republican's campaign ever overtly targeted the Jewish voters.
Efforts aside, the Jewish vote began swaying in Obama's direction in June. McCain himself may have given the Jewish vote a nudge at his opponent's direction when he chose Alaska Governor Sarah Palin for his running mate.
Palin's conservative views on a variety of social issues, do not coincide with those of the majority of America's Jews.