Sounds like a new chapter of Jews for Jesusâ€¦. BUT itâ€™s not! Read the following to see this surprising developmentâ€¦.
By Shmuel Rosner
Race for the White House: Jews were 5% of the voters, but most voted for Obama (49%), not Clinton (47%
1.Exit polls are a problematic source when it comes to the Jewish vote. The sample is always small – even in states like New York where 16% of the vote was Jewish. The margin of error is significant, and there is plenty of opportunity for correction as the actual results are analyzed and the polls are weighed to the official count of votes. Thatâ€™s why it is even more important to recheck these exit polls a couple of days after the dust has settled (check out pollster.com for Mark Blumenthalâ€™s explanation of exit polls).
If you do recheck those exit polls, get ready for some surprises. Last week, (actually, Tuesday late at night) I wrote about Clinton, Obama and the Jewish vote. In that article, I concluded that Obama won the Jewish vote in two states: Massachusetts and Connecticut.Wrong: He won California as well, according to the updated exit polls.
3.In the article from the Super Tuesday night, I wrote about the numbers for California: â€œThe Jewish vote in this state was 5 percent of the total, and also went to Clinton, but the margin was small – 48 percent for her, 44 percent for Obama (8 percent voted for no-longer-a-candidate Edwards).â€
Here are the new numbers: Jews were 5 percent of the voters, but most gave their votes to Obama (49 percent) and not to Clinton (47 percent). The percentage of Jewish voters for the no-longer-candidate John Edwards (mostly early voters, Iâ€™d presume) is actually half than what was estimated last week: four percent.
Bottom line for Super Tuesday:
Clinton has won the Jewish vote in New York, New Jersey, and Arizona; Obama took Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California.
For the rest of the states there are no numbers as the percentage of Jewish voters was too small.
In a way, this makes my conclusion from last week even more accurate: â€œAnd here is another way to look at it: Clinton won the Jewish vote handily in her backyard (New York and New Jersey), but did not have such luck in other places. She won some, and lost some, but the margin in all places but those two backyard states was not significant.â€
Hereâ€™s an insignificant anecdote that only highlights the problematic nature of all such estimates, and the even more problematic tendency of writers (like myself) to make a big deal out of these numbers. Look at the â€œReligion, combined Protestant and Other Christian, among Whitesâ€ rubric of the exit polls. What it essentially tells you is that among â€œJewish whitesâ€ the vote was split: 48 percent for Obama, 48 percent for Clinton.
Apparently, unlike most African-Americans, Jewish Blacks tend to vote more for Clinton. Of course, there are no American Jewish blacks (other than a very small numbers of converts and adopted children. It is doubtful if these can count, not even for this one percent change in the poll).