Wednesday, November 10, 2004

ORTHODOX JEWS [Jonah Goldberg ]

"As I mentioned in today's USA Today piece, Bush picked up an enormous number of votes from Orthodox Jews on election day. Orthodox Jews have been trending more conservative, politically for a while (as Peter Beinart noted in this interesting op-ed before the election). But, even so, few could have predicted this much of a gain. Figures on what Bush got in 2000 vary -- from as low as 29% to as high as 40% (and remember Lieberman was on the Democratic ticket). In 2004 Bush got 69% of the Orthodox Jewish vote, which apparently helped Bush in certain areas of Ohio and Florida.
From what I hear, one person who deserves an enormous amount of the credit for these gains is my very old friend Tevi Troy. A policy guru on the campaign and before that in the White House, Tevi also worked tirelessly reaching out to the Jewish community as a liaison. Bush's victory has many and morre obvious authors of course (Though wouldn't it be fun to watch the reaction in certain quarters -- Middle Eastern, Liberal Jewish, paleo-whatever -- if Bush's margin were attributable to the Jewish vote?). But this is an important trend -- Orthodox Jews are only about 10% of the Jewish population, but they are the fastest-growing segment because they have so many kids -- and Troy played an enormously important part in accelerating that trend.
Update: Ahem, the trend I was referring to here wasn't the increase in the Orthodox population, but in its Republican vote. Though Tev is a good family man. "


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