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  • Writer's pictureSteven Windmueller

Wind Election Report #2

A newsletter focusing on the 2020 election and American Jews

Where are the Jewish Voters?

These seventeen major population centers account for 66% of all Jewish Americans:[1]

New York (1,538,000)

Los Angeles (519,000)

San Francisco (311,000)

Washington (296,000)

Chicago (292,000)

Boston (248,000)

Philadelphia (215,000)

Broward County, Florida (149,000)

South Palm Beach, Florida (136,000)

West Palm Beach, Florida (127,200)

Miami (123,000)

Atlanta (120,000)

Northern New Jersey (119,000)

Middlesex-Monmouth, New Jersey (122,000)

Greater MetroWest New Jersey (115,000)

Rockland County, NY (103,000)

San Diego (100,000).

75% America’s Jews live in Eight states (California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Massachusetts), accounting for 188 electoral votes.

Seven states have between 100,000-200,000 Jews: Texas (176,000); Virginia (151,000); Ohio (148,000); Georgia (129,000); Connecticut (118,000); Arizona (107,000); and Colorado (103,000). The combined electoral vote count here is 112 electoral votes.

What We Know about the 2020 Jewish Voter: Two Studies

The data posted below is taken from the Jewish Electorate Institute, February 2020 Survey.[2]

  • A majority of Jewish voters identify as Democrats, and an overwhelming majority of Jewish voters disapprove of President Trump.

  • Jewish voters support each of the leading Democratic candidates at essentially the same level in head-to-head match-ups against Donald Trump.

  • A majority of Jewish voters view all of the leading Democratic candidates favorably.

  • While Jewish voters remain strongly pro-Israel, Jewish voters prioritize domestic policy issues over Israel when asked which issues are most important to them in selecting a candidate.

  • While nearly all respondents identify as “pro-Israel,” a majority also identify as critical of at least some of the current Israeli government’s policies.

  • Jewish voters feel less secure than they did two years ago, and they hold President Trump responsible for their insecurity.

  • A plurality of Jewish voters believe that the best way to improve the security of Jews in the United States is “helping people with the right values get elected.”

Second Study: The general findings in a study (February 2020) released by Bend the Arc[3] is posted below:

Jewish voters remain an overwhelmingly Democratic. Nearly two-thirds of Jewish voters self-identify as Democrats (64% Democrat / 25% Republican / 10% Independent).

Three-quarters hold unfavorable opinions of the President (24% favorable / 75% unfavorable). There’s real intensity to this dislike, as two-thirds (66%) are very unfavorable towards Trump.

Jewish voters believe Trump holds racist and antisemitic views. A majority of Jewish voters believe Trump holds antisemitic views (58% agree). More than three-quarters also believe Trump holds racist views (76% agree), including both white Jews (76%) and Jews of color (79%). The President is seen as generally representative of the Republican Party (57% “does represent” / 37% “does not represent”), including among two-thirds of Jewish Republicans.

Some Historic Facts:[4]

First Jewish member of the United States Senate David Levy Yulee (1845) Florida and member of the House, Lewis Charles Levin (1845) Pennsylvania.

First Jewish mayor of a major American city (Portland) Bernard Goldsmith (1869). Two years later, Phillip Wasserman became mayor of Portland (1871)

First elected Jewish governor of a U.S. state: Washington Bartlett (California) (1887)

Americans are not voting! [5]

In 2016, 60.20% of eligible voters showed up at the polls. In 2018 that number was one in two voters or 50.33%.

The five states with the highest percentage of voting:

72.80% Maine

72.50% New Hampshire

72.10% Colorado

69.00% Iowa

68.30% Massachusetts

The lowest voter turn-out four years ago, Hawaii with only 43.00% of its eligible voters casting a ballot.


Prepared by Steven Windmueller, Gottschalk Emeritus Professor of Jewish Communal Studies, Jack H. Skirball Campus: HUC-JIR, Los Angeles


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