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The Israel Swing Factor: How the American Jewish Vote Influences U.S. Elections

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Publication Date: January 2001

Publisher(s): Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

Author(s): Jeffrey S. Helmreich

Series: Jerusalem Viewpoints, no.446

Special Collection: Berman Jewish Policy Archive

Topic: Culture and religion (Religion and religious groups)
Politics (Elections and voting)

Keywords: Israel attachment; Demography; Political Behavior; Power

Type: Other

Coverage: United States


The author contends that there are two common, clashing myths of the political power of American Jewry: that the community is too small to affect national elections; and that Jews disproportionately affect national politics because of campaign donations and media influence. Both views are wrong, argues the author; American Jews do influence national elections, but not because of disproportionate money or power. Rather, Jews make up a significant portion of the electorate in key "swing states", and are furthermore a uniquely swayable swing bloc., in that the issue of support for Israel can spur a sizable portion of Jews to switch parties where it is an issue of contention.