Post-electoral pillow talk


Listening in on Arthur Finkelstein’s analysis of his polling for the Republican Jewish Coalition, I have some questions about the polling. Suffice to say that there’s a gap between his exit polling (hovering around low 60s for Democrats) and J Street’s (hovering low 70s).

New York Jewish Week’s Jim Besser meantime, offers his own analysis:

A 61 percent take for the Democratic nominee from the strongly Democratic-leaning Jewish community isn’t something party leaders will be shouting from the rooftops – but it’s also not wildly inconsistent with what we saw nationally on Bloody Tuesday.

2010 saw a strong shift to the GOP across voter groups (excluding, apparently, the African American and Hispanic communities). A 70 percent Democratic take might be the predictable outcome in a normal year; with this year’s strong political currents, a 62 percent take isn’t out of line.

If you look across other white voter groups, Sestak’s 62 percent of the Jewish vote – if that’s the correct number – doesn’t look great, but it looks a heck of a lot better than the 37 percent Democratic vote for white voters in general in House races, according to a CNN exit poll. Gerstein also did a national exit poll of Jewish voters and found that overall, 66 percent of Jews surveyed voted for Democratic candidates, 31 percent for Republicans.

That’s pretty good news for the Jewish Republicans, but hardly a tectonic shift.

Finkelstein is pushing back hard against Besser’s take, arguing that movement was more substantial among Jews and influenced by messaging.

The Washington Jewish Week’s Adam Kredo covers the back and forth between Josh Block, AIPAC’s former spokesman, and Amy Spitalnick, J Street’s spokeswoman, over whether J Street support made it easier or harder for candidates.

J Street has a list here of how its candidates did. RJC does a side-by-side here of its campaigns with J Street’s.

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