Author Archive | David Bernstein

Backing Up My Assertion:

Several readers questioned whether Jews really give half of all money raised by the Democratic Party. I’ve seen this figure quoted for years, and it seems well-accepted. Here, for example, is the Washington Post in December: “Jews provided at least half the money donated to the DNC in the 1998 and 2000 election cycles”. Another Post article, however, qualifies this by noting this refers solely to donations by individual donors, and does not take into account corporate and labor union donations, which have been, to say the least, substantial.

Some of the readers who wrote to me fear that mentioning such figures will stoke anti-Semitism. In my view, the high levels of Jewish participation in political activism is nothing to be ashamed of (though I’m not thrilled with many of the directions that activism tends to take), and, indeed, should be a badge of honor. As full, first-class citizens of the U.S., Jewish individuals have just as much right to donate to candidates as anyone else–they aren’t doing so as part of a shadowy Jewish conspiracy, but as publicly-committed Democrats or Republicans who are also Jewish. Good for them! [...]

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Interesting Findings from the American Jewish Committee Survey of American Jewish Opinion

1. Do you approve or disapprove of the way President George W. Bush is handling the U.S. campaign against terrorism?
Approve 41
Disapprove 54
Not sure 5

Comment: This is ambiguous, as I suspect a fair percentage of Jews think the president has not been vigorous enough in opposing terrorism, especially Palestinian terrorism.

19. I would like you to rate your feelings toward some countries, institutions and people, with one hundred meaning a very warm, favorable feeling, zero meaning a very cold, unfavorable feeling, and fifty meaning not particularly warm or cold. You can use any number from zero to one hundred. How would you rate your feelings toward [ ].
Mean Score
a. Iran 27
b. The European Union 54
c. Saudi Arabia 29
d. Germany 45
e. Jordan 43
f. Egypt 45
g. Great Britain 77
h. Poland 56
i. The Palestinians 21
j. France 33
k. China 44
l. Syria 24
m. Turkey 52
n. India 55
o. The Vatican 51
p. Italy 62
q. Spain 62
r. Russia 51
s. South Africa 53

Comment: OK, France is bad, but worse than Egypt, whose official media engages in blatant anti-Semitism?

22. I’m going to read you a list of political views that people might hold. They are arranged from extremely liberal to extremely conservative. Where would you place yourself on this scale?
Extremely liberal 4
Liberal 19
Slightly liberal 17
Moderate, middle of the road 33
Slightly conservative 13
Conservative 12
Extremely conservative 2
Not sure 1

Comment: Judging from experience, I find it hard to believe that liberal Jews outnumber conservatives only 40% to 27%, but perhaps that’s because I’ve been in and around academia too long.

25. Do you think the number of immigrants from foreign countries who are permitted to come to the United [...]

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Just for Fun:

Other than the Iowa Electronic Market, is there a way to legally bet from outside Vegas on who will win the Democratic nomination? My own suspicion is that contrary to the odds I’ve seen, there is a more than 15% chance that one of the “major” Democratic contenders other than Clark and Dean will get the nomination.
UPDATE: Several readers have referred me to, an Irish outfit. Any other suggestions? [...]

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Tobacco Deal May Violate Sherman Act:

The Second Circuit has reinstated a lawsuit arguing that the multistate tobacco settlement violates federal antitrust law. When the settlement was announced, my entrepreneurial side thought about starting a new cigarette brand called “Death Sticks,” and, when states tried to force my company to pay into a fund for the health problems caused by my unworthy competitors’ cigarettes, to sue the heck out them, for both antitrust and constitutional violations. Maybe I should have. [...]

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Bad News for the Dems:

From the AP:

U.S. Jews would overwhelmingly support any major Democratic candidate over President Bush if the election were held today, according to the 2004 Annual Survey of American Jewish Opinion.

Joe Lieberman, the only Jewish candidate, would defeat Republican Bush by the largest margin, 71 percent to 24 percent, the poll found.

In one-on-one matchups with the president, Howard Dean, Wesley Clark, John Kerry and Richard Gephardt would each receive about 60 percent of the Jewish vote, compared to about 30 percent for Bush, according to the survey conducted for the American Jewish Committee and released Monday.30% would be about double Bush’s total in 2000 among Jews (the article says that only 66% of those surveyed supported Gore in 2000, but retrospective polling is notoriously unreliable, polls done at the time showed 80%+ figures), and does not account for the 10% undecided, nor for the fact that some of Dean’s bizarre statements re Iraq have not yet seeped into public consciousness.

Also, the articles notes a “slight” increase in Jewish identification as Republicans from 9 to 16%. That’s not slight, that’s almost double!

Jews are only about 2% of the population, but are older and vote more than other groups, so they are more like 4% of the electorate, and are concentrated in swing states. Moreover, Jews are responsible for giving about half of the money the Democrats raise (and 15-20% of Republican cash). This poll has to be ringing some alarm bells at Democratic headquarters in Washington. [...]

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