In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 26, 2004 / 9 Elul 5764

Game Over?

By Jonathan Tobin

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No, a few swing votes are up for grabs

http://www.jewishworldreview.com | To listen to the National Jewish Democratic Council last week, there seemed to be little doubt about the outcome of 3 1/2 years of Republican efforts to improve upon their dismal showing in the 2000 presidential race.

For them, the meaning of a new poll could be summed up in two words: Game over.

The poll commissioned by the Democrats showed their candidate Sen. John Kerry beating President George W. Bush, 75 percent to 22 percent, among Jewish voters. That was virtually a repeat of the election results of four years ago, when exit polls showed Bush getting just 18 or 19 percent in his race with former vice president Al Gore.

This has to be considered a big disappointment for the GOP, considering all the time and effort they put into improving their standing among American Jews. If the Democrat poll is taken at face value — and there is good reason it should — then all the progress the Republicans thought they'd made via close relations with Israel and a post-Sept. 11 emphasis on the war on terror was in vain.

The inescapable conclusion would seem to be that Jews, after African-Americans — the most consistently Democratic portion of the electorate, and almost as liberal — are incapable of being lured away from their loyalty to the party they've given most of their votes to since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Whatever inroads might have been made on Israel were lost, the poll seems to be saying, over domestic issues where Jews are as predictably as liberal as ever. Even more to the point might be the conclusion that though reasonable Democrats can't deny that Bush is a good friend of Israel, fewer Jewish voters consider that issue to be a determining factor.

All this would seem to be leading the Republicans to one inevitable conclusion: Give up on the Jewish vote.

But should they? Not if they want to win!

Despite well-founded optimism, the Democrats still have a problem. They know their candidate will win the Jewish vote. Even in 1980, when the Republicans got their highest total ever with Ronald Reagan's 40 percent of the Jewish vote, Democrats still won a majority of Jews. But the silver lining for the Bush camp in all of this is that it really doesn't have to do all that much better among Jewish voters in order to have an impact on this election. If this race turns out to be yet another squeaker, then all the Republicans need are a few more votes to put them over the top in key states like Florida or even Pennsylvania. The question is what issues can possible motivate the few swing voters left?

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The clue lies in the Democratic poll itself, which showed that of all issues, the GOP does best among Jews on Israel. Their sample showed that 34 percent trusted the Republicans more than the Democrats on relations with Israel. Granted, that still left 66 percent saying they relied more on the Democrats, but it was better than any other issue for the GOP.

It isn't likely that domestic issues will convince many Jews to abandon the Democrats. On topics such as the separation of church and state, abortion, gun control and even taxes, the overwhelming majority of Jews seem to be invulnerable to the siren call of the Republicans. For good or ill, most American Jews still seem to consider the liberal "social justice" agenda as inseparable from their religious beliefs. Indeed, for some, the liberal catechism has long since been a very comfortable substitute for religion, and virtually nothing Bush can do will win them over. But for a small number of Democratic centrists, Israel looms large.

For this group, that tiny sliver of the electorate that can be called "Jewish Reagan Democrats," Israel is a decisive issue. These are the nominal Democrats who have shown they will abandon their party's presidential nominee if they are given a good reason.

Some leading liberals, such as columnist Leonard Fein, can write that Bush's "pro-Israel" stand isn't good for the Jewish state. That's because he, as well as some former Clinton-administration officials who anticipate returning to office under Kerry, tend to think that pressure, rather than support, for the current government in Jerusalem is what's needed to achieve peace in the Middle East.

But the few Jewish swing voters aren't likely to agree with them. These Reagan Democrats have been impressed by Bush's shunning of Yasser Arafat, coupled with his unprecedented support for the right of Israel to hold onto parts of the territories and his denunciation of the Palestinian right of return. Skeptics can point to contrary stands by others in the administration, as well as the possibility that policy will change if he is re-elected. But events such as last week's revelation that Bush is willing to support Israel's right to build in existing settlements, such as Ma'ale Adumim and other places, that are not on the bargaining table for abandonment remain meaningful for some Jewish voters.

Of course, if the Democrats are smart, they can keep these Reagan Democrats loyal. Kerry should — as he has on other points where Bush has taken a strong pro-Israel stand — pointedly endorse the administration's position on settlements, and redouble his efforts to convince voters that it is a first Kerry administration rather than a second Bush one that will be better for Israel. That might be tough for those like former peace envoy Dennis Ross (who will likely return to that job if Kerry wins) to swallow, but it's smart politics, as well as good policy.

If they don't, will Bush be able to peel off enough Democrats to give himself a few more Jewish percentage points? It's far from certain, and plenty of time exists for Bush to stumble further on this issue and other ones. But if he does, and if it comes down to another thriller in places like Florida, that might be all he'll need for another term.

One small indicator that points to good news for Bush was widely ignored last week. That was the poll among Israelis that showed, in contrast to American Jews, a large majority preferring Bush to Kerry. In a race that wasn't close, this item might be as insignificant as a poll of Frenchmen. But given the possibility of another dead heat in November — and the fact that there are thousands of Israelis with American citizenship and the ability to cast absentee ballots in their home states — it isn't so trivial.

The odds are against a small number of pro-Israel Jewish votes being the difference in the election. But this year, a few cast overseas in, say, Ma'ale Adumim, for example, might be as decisive as any cast in Palm Beach or Broward counties.

Stay tuned. The battle for the Jewish vote isn't over yet.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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