A Blue Jewish Wave
Jewish support for Democrats exceeded expectations in the midterms.
From the JDCA
Jewish voters overwhelmingly chose Democratic candidates in the 2018 midterm elections. Among Jewish voters, 82 percent of the two-party U.S. House vote went to Democrats and 18 percent went to Republicans. This 64-point margin of support for House Democrats is the largest among Jewish voters in a decade and one of the largest on record. This analysis of the Jewish vote was conducted by the Mellman Group on behalf of the Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA).
“Jewish support for Democratic candidates — already overwhelming in early October — seems to have grown stronger by the election and ended in a historic rebuke of Trump and Republicans,” according to the Mellman Group’s analysis. “Indeed, Jewish voters exhibited greater loyalty to the Democratic Party than any demographic group except African-Americans and equal to the support from LGBTQ voters.”
Jewish Democratic Council of America Executive Director Halie Soifer said, “This election reaffirms what we have known for a long time: Jewish Americans continue to have a home in the Democratic Party. Jewish values are Democratic values — socially-progressive and pro-Israel. Not only did Republicans lose ground with Jewish voters in this election, but the Jewish vote in key districts was decisive in helping Democrats win back control of Congress.”
Although the data can’t say with certainty what caused the Jewish jump in support for Democrats, one possibility is the shock and alarm caused by the Pittsburgh synagogue killings, according to the Mellman Group.
An election day survey for J Street by GBA Strategies found 72 percent of Jewish voters said that “Donald Trump’s comments and policies” were at least somewhat “responsible for the recent shooting that took place at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.”
Eighty-six percent Jews who identify as Democrats ascribed some responsibility for the massacre to Trump, but so did a 56 percent majority of Jewish independents and 35 percent of Jewish Republicans.
“This support did not just come from Jewish Democrats, but also from Jewish Republicans and Independents,” Soifer said. “President Trump’s incendiary rhetoric and policies had significant consequences on Republicans in the midterm elections and cost them support in the Jewish community.
“JDCA looks forward to engaging with the 116th Congress to promote a culture of tolerance and an agenda aligned with our values,” she said.
Facts about the 2018 Jewish Vote:
- Three weeks before Election Day, 74 percent of Jewish voters said they would support Democratic congressional candidates according to polling commissioned by the non-partisan Jewish Electorate Institute and conducted by the Mellman Group before the November elections
- The margin of support among Jewish voters for Democrats grew in the final weeks of the election and overlaps with the horrific massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue. According to an election-night survey commissioned by J Street and conducted by GBA Strategies, 72 percent of Jewish voters believed President Trump’s “comments and policies” are “very or at least somewhat” responsible for the shooting in Pittsburgh.
- Since the October poll indicated 68 percent of Jewish voters identify as Democrats, roughly 1 in 6 of the 82 percent who voted for Democratic candidates were Independents or Republicans.