Romney's Visit to Israel and the Jewish Vote
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, "Second Thought”
"Israel Hayom”, July 13, 2012
Republican Presidential candidate Romney's July 2012 visit to Israel will underscore Romney's appreciation of Israel's enhanced strategic importance. Israel's unique contribution to the US national security is highlighted against the background of the increasingly violent, fragmented, unpredictable and unreliable, seismic "Arab Street;” the intensifying threats of radical Islam, Islamic terrorism and a nuclear Iran to US economic and national security interests; the withdrawal of the US from Iraq and Afghanistan; the upgraded profile of Russia and China in the Middle East; and the cuts in the US defense budget.
In addition, Governor Romney's visit to Israel will reaffirm the critical role played by the Jewish vote in the November presidential and congressional elections.
While the majority of US Jewry resides in New York (1.6 million) and California (1.2 million) – two solid Democratic states - the smaller Jewish communities – in the "toss up” states - could play a decisive role in determining the next President of the USA. Moreover, while the Jewish population of New York (especially) and California is gradually decreasing, the Jewish population in some of the "swing states” is increasing.
The outcome of the 2000 presidential election was determined by less than 1,000 Jewish voters in Florida. The outcome of the 2012 presidential election could be determined by the Jewish vote in three of the top seven electoral states, which are also "battleground states”: Florida (29 electors; Jewish population 650,000), Pennsylvania (20 electors; 300,000) and Ohio (18 electors; 150,000).
Other "battleground states” with a critical mass of Jewish constituents are Virginia (13 electors; 100,000), Arizona (11 electors; 100,000), Colorado (9 electors; 100,000), Missouri (10 electors; 60,000), Nevada (6 electors; 80,000), North Carolina (15 electors; 30,000), Wisconsin (10 electors; 30,000) and possibly Michigan (16 electors; 85,000), Minnesota (10 electors; 50,000) and Indiana (11 electors; 20,000). [Read more]