Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is making considerable inroads into Florida’s Jewish community according to a newly released poll conducted by the Florida Coalition of Independent Jewish Congregations (FCIJ).
The poll, released Tuesday, indicates that 52 percent of the state’s registered Jewish voters would support a Romney-led Republican presidential ticket. That’s big news in a state which has seen Jewish voters traditionally and almost without exception support Democratic candidates. If those poll numbers hold up, it would mark a sea change in Florida’s political landscape.
“Florida’s Jewish voters – five percent of the Sunshine State’s electorate - particularly those in South Florida, have always been a mainstay of the Democratic vote in every presidential election,” said political analyst, Bob Allen. “But the general perception among Florida’s community – and that of American Jews as a whole - is that Obama has betrayed their trust and is in real danger of losing some of his 78 percent of the Jewish vote he won in 2008.”
“The President’s willingness to dismantle Israel to pre-1967 borders and his readiness to negotiate with Iran have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Jewish voters,” says Allen. “His overt snub of Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visited the White House in 2010 also is a sore spot for American Jews.”
Romney, who has repeatedly attacked Obama’s record on Israel saying the president’s actions have “endangered one of America’s closest allies,” echoed his unflagging support for the Jewish state last week at a rally in West Palm Beach saying that he would “stand with our friends.”
Romney’s staunch support for Israel and his steadfast opposition to a nuclear Iran are messages that resonate with all segments of the Jewish electorate.
“He hasn’t wavered in his message regarding Israel and the middle east in general,” said Jeff Goldenblatt, 19, a sophomore at Florida International University in Miami. “He’s a conservative guy but with a demonstrated willingness to move towards the center politically. But I don’t think he’ll change his stance on Israel, unlike what Obama has done.”
A Quinnipiac University poll on Wednesday showed that if Romney were to win the GOP presidential nomination, he could be in a very close race in Florida against Obama.
“In a potentially close Florida race between Obama and Romney, a migration of Jewish voters from Democratic to Republican could have a huge impact,” said Allen. “Jews vote. They’re a potent, reliable political bloc that can swing elections. Particularly in Florida.”
In general, The Israel Factor panel predicts Mitt Romney to get around 43% of the Jewish vote Nationally in November, as the Republican nominee.