Obama election rally 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
I paid a visit yesterday to several campaign headquarters in St.
Louis, Missouri, and also spoke to a couple of Jewish leaders in the
community of this great city. While the race in MO-3 doesn’t seem quite
as competitive as some thought it would be (here’s 538’s forecast
, and the more cautious RCP forecast
), I was interested in Russ Carnahan
and his chances of getting most Jewish votes. Carnahan was also one of
the House members having to do with J Street backing and some
controversy over Israel-related matters. I must say that my
conversations today didn’t reveal any tendency by Jewish voters in St.
Louis to abandon him. If you want to know why, the study entitled “Strengthening the Connection of American Jews to Israel
A case study of one attempt to transform the place of Israel in Four
St. Louis Synagogues” will be a good start. You can also try this older study
, from which one can learn that in this Reform community attachment to Israel isn’t always on top of the agenda.
But enough with MO-3. It is Election Day, and while the media is
filled with races-to-watch type of lists, I thought it would be best to
suggest my own list of “Jewish” races to watch. These are races that
have some “Jewish” significance, or symbolize something that I think is
worthy of highlighting. If you think I forgot something – please suggest
more races to watch, and we can watch them together. Tonight, I’ll be
blogging from Chicago and you’re most welcome to visit and read.
Here are the races I’d recommend:
A. PA Senate, Sestak vs. Toomey:
The most interesting political battle involving Israel-related
campaigning. J Street is backing Sestak, the Emergency Committee worked
against him. I wrote about this race, but only in Hebrew
B. NJ-3, Adler vs. Runyan, AZ-8 Giffords vs. Kelly:
In both these races, relatively new, and relatively attractive
Jewish legislators are facing elimination (according to polls). Both
will clearly be a manifestation of why Jewish representation in Congress
is about to decline
from the record numbers seen in 2006
and in 2008
(there are couple other names that can appear under this category: Grayson
C. NY-1: Altschuler vs. Bishop:
D. WI Senate: Feingold vs. Johnson:
This seems like a forgone conclusion: Senator Feingold will be the
most senior Jewish legislator to lose his seat in 2010. Read this Slate article
about the race. And remember that Arlen Specter will also be missing in 2011.
They are not Jewish, but they have a lot of Jews voting in their
district. This race, and others in which a fairly large percentage of
Jews vote will give us the opportunity to try and asses whether Jewish
Americans move to the right (My interview with Seals is here
). Last year, Jewish voters didn’t seem to move
in Republican direction. If you want to see what other districts have high percentage of Jewish voters take a look here