Forward Thinking

Eight Votes Between Them

By Gal Beckerman

  • Print
  • Share Share
getty images
Mitt Romney

So where are we now that the decidedly low-tech process known as the Iowa caucuses is completed, all the little slips of paper have been counted and Mitt Romney was ahead by just eight votes?

I can think of three basic takeaways and they coincide with the three candidates who have emerged last night as the frontrunners in this race.

1) Mitt Romney: He still seems like Mr. Inevitable. But despite eking out the narrowest win in U.S. political history, the results actually seem to have exposed his weakness. He can’t seem to break a ceiling of around 25%, which is pretty much what he got last go around in Iowa when he didn’t have the frontrunner aura about him. What this means going past New Hampshire (a state he is sure to win) is hard yet to tell. On the face of it it reinforces the idea that the Republican Party might have a nominee that it’s base just isn’t that excited about.

2) Rick Santorum: We are going to be seeing more of the sweater vest, it seems. Seemingly out nowhere, Santorum has surged and came within a whisker of winning. He is really the biggest winner of the night, if only because expectations for him were so much lower. And he also gets to claim the mantel of the social conservative candidate, possibly soaking up the support that was spread between him, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann.

3) Ron Paul: He didn’t win the caucuses, which would have really caused Republicans to have to stop and take stock of what his popularity means for the state of the party. But he’s not going away either, nor is the problematic nature of his views. Will he continue to have enough support that the other candidates have to adopt some of his isolationism?

All of this should force Republican Jews to ask themselves three questions:

1) Is their support for Romney in Iowa mirrored by the greater Republican electorate or are they just part of that quotient of practical Republicans looking for an electable nominee?

2) Santorum is super pro-Israel (to the point of absurdity as we discovered today. But how far does he take his social conservative view and will his stance on issues like the church-state divide be a deal breaker for some of these Jews?

3) Is Paul’s performance in Iowa really an outlier or do his views need to be reckoned with? Should Jewish Republicans be demanding that the other candidates condemn what could be seen as his anti-Israel stance?


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: jewish vote 2012, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Iowa Caucuses, Election 2012

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.