Big Problems for Romney - Jewish and Isreali Voters Heavily Favor Obama Over Romney
HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. (RNS) Hilda Finkel has heard the Republican call that she should reconsider her support for President Barack Obama because he isn't sufficiently pro-Israel.
She has heard GOP nominee Mitt Romney accuse Obama of "throwing Israel under bus." She has seen the billboards here in Broward County greeting Jewish voters with this plaintive message: "Oy vey Obama. Had enough yet?"
But she is unswayed. "I am Jewish, and I care about Israel, but the most important question is jobs and the economy," Finkel, 94, said in an interview in this south Florida community. "I'm going with Obama."
For all the efforts by the Romney campaign to court voters like Finkel, Obama's campaign is expressing growing confidence that they have been able to keep Jewish voters. According to the Gallup daily tracking poll between July 1 and Sept. 10, 70 percent of registered Jewish voters plan to vote for Obama vs. 25 percent for Romney. In the spring, polls showed Obama up 64-25 percent against a generic GOP candidate.
Obama will be back in Florida this week with stops in Coral Gables for a forum hosted by the Spanish-language network Univision and in Tampa for a fundraiser, and his campaign is stepping up efforts to secure the voting bloc Obama won by 74 percent to 21 percent over Sen. John McCain in 2008.
"There is very little Mr. Romney and (vice presidential candidate Paul) Ryan offer in their agenda -- from the economy to health care to foreign policy -- that a majority of Jewish Americans are comfortable with," said Robert Wexler, a former Florida congressman who is serving as a surrogate to the Jewish community for Obama. "Conversely, Jewish Americans are comfortable with President Obama and his agenda."