How will non-Orthodox Jews vote in the upcoming presidential election?

By Fredric Price on February 26, 2020

From Barbara Zaslov:

Q: Will non-Orthodox Jews start to move away from the Democratic party in 2020 in a manner similar to what happened in the UK with Jews voting for Boris Johnson in unprecedented numbers?

A: In 2016, Jews voted for Hillary Clinton by a 71%-24% margin according to a Pew poll.1 The percentage voting for Clinton among non-Orthodox Jews was greater. In the UK, a 2019 pre-election poll indicated that only 6% of Jews were going to vote for Labour,2 which was an extraordinary turnaround.

So the answer to the question is, “It all depends.” It depends on who the Democrats nominate, what the Democratic platform says, how the nominee sticks to the platform, and how the members of the left (i.e., The Squad and their followers) push anti-Jewish and anti-Israel themes (e.g., BDS, the one-state solution, reduced American aid to Israel, etc.) It’s ironic that ‘the Jewish Question’ of the nineteen thirties has been resurrected in this century with different labels.

We now live in an era of Holocaust denial and attacks on Jews, which has spawned a convergence of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. It is becoming increasingly difficult for anti-Zionists to hide behind ‘some of my best friends are Jews’ as a way to distinguish between these two antis. Unfortunately, they now appear to be more of the same, and a politician with anti-Zionist views gives cover to anti-Semites.

Informal discussions with friends and relatives who describe themselves, in various fashion, as either secular, classically liberal (not necessarily in the political sense), or occasional synagogue attendees, suggest that were the Democrats to nominate a candidate who would run on a platform highly critical of Israel, that there would be angst in voting for such a person, which might manifest itself in not voting for anyone for president.

Would this represent a radical shift away from the Democratic party? Again, it all depends upon whether such a nominee is emblematic of a significant shift or is a one-time event. Frankly, it’s too soon to tell. But who could have imagined that the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt could have morphed into the party of Mitch McConnell and William Barr?