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Political tidbits: Obama up big among Fla. Jews, Shulman gaining on Garrett? (UPDATED)

  • Did the Great Schlep work? A new Quinnipiac poll has Florida Jews going 77-20 for Obama. That number would put Obama in line with Jewish support of the Democratic candidate in the last few presidential elections – and that’s in a state where a lot of resistance to Obama among Jewish voters had been reported a couple months ago. UPDATE: According to the Quinnipiac Polling Institute, the Jewish sample in the poll was 87 people, or 6 percent, which gives it a sizable margin of error of plus or minus 10.5 percent.
  • “Blind Rabbi” Dennis Shulman and incumbent Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) have their first debate, and it’s not friendly. The candidates clashed over Israel and health care, reports the New Jersey Jewish News.
  • Meanwhile, Politico speculates that the GOP is worried about losing Garrett’s seat, although a party spokeswoman denies it. For his part, Garrett just started running a television ad calling Shulman “too extreme for New Jersey” and sent out a mailer accusing Shulman of supporting “talking to terrorists.”
    Shulman’s campaign responded by calling Garrett “desperate” and comparing him to Karl Rove and Michelle Bachmann
  • The head of Vote From Israel claims the deciding votes in a close presidential election could come from the 42,000 U.S. voters living in the Jewish state, reports the Jerusalem Post.
  • Some Jewish Democrats complain to the Forward that the Conference of Presidents circulated invitations to John McCain’s “tele-town hall” meeting on Sunday.
  • Howard Fineman blogs at Newsweek that Jewish donors frightened by Sarah Palin were one reason Barack Obama raised so much money in September.
  • If John McCain won’t bring up Rev. Jeremiah Wright as a campaign issue, then Jonathan Mark of The Jewish Week doesn’t trust McCain to speak out against anti-Semitism as president.
  • The economic crisis is dampening enthusiasm for McCain among the Russian Jewish community, reports The Jewish Week.
  • And some in the Jewish community see the economic crisis forcing increased engagement with Iran under a new president, writes Jim Besser in The Jewish Week.
  • The Forward reports on the Obama campaign’s courting of the Brooklyn Orthodox community at a sukkah in Williamsburg.
  • Whitefish salad, nova, bagels, latkes and a couple black and white cookies were on the menu when Obama visited a South Florida deli with Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) on Tuesday afternoon, reports Jake Tapper at ABC News.
  • How does an editor decide whether to publish a letter that contains false information about the presidential candidates? The Jewish Week’s Gary Rosenblatt explores that issue.
  • Larry Yudelson, in the Jerusalem Post, finds problems in McCain’s repetition of the phrase “Judeo-Christian values.”
  • Eitan Haber, in YNet, is not excited, to say the least, about a Barack Obama presidency and it implications for Israel.
  • Obama adviser Dan Kurtzer is optimistic about Israeli-Palestinian peace talks in an Obama presidency, according to the New Jersey Jewish News.
  • Alan Dershowitz’s research assistant objects to the Harvard law professor’s endorsement of Obama, in the Jerusalem Post.
  • Washington Jewish Week talks to some young Jews who made The Great Schlep.
  • Could Wyoming have a Jewish member of Congress? Some polls say it’s possible, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
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