Update

11.06.12

Israel: Not A Swing State

Last week, the voter registration group iVoteIsrael, which we covered at length in these pages, held a press conference to announce the findings of it's e-mail exit poll of American Jews voting in Israel. Given the group's murky origins, overwhelming partisan bent and the past voting record of Americans in Israel, the outcome came as no surprise. At +972 Magazine, Mairav Zonszein, who did the first in-depth reported piece on iVoteIsrael for Open Zion, recounted the results of iVoteIsrael's survey:

The campaign announced that a record number of 80,000 Americans who registered with them voted in this election, of which 85 percent voted for Republican candidate Mitt Romney, 14 percent for Obama (and 0.6 percent  for “Other”). This is more than double the turnout of the 2008 election, in which a reported 30,000 Americans voted, and the number could even be greater as there are people who voted without using the campaign’s services. According to iVoteIsrael, there are around 160,000 eligible American voters living in Israel, so they are boasting having reached exactly half...

While it was predictable that a majority of American expats in Israel would vote for Romney as they are known to be predominantly Republican (76 percent voted for McCain in 2008), the most astonishing and significant data is how many of those are registered in key swing states:

According to iVoteIsrael, a whopping 7,500 of those in Israel who voted absentee in the election are registered in Florida and 3,500 in Ohio. In both states, overwhelming majorities voted for Romney.

So Israel is not a swing state, but that doesn't mean voters living there won't perhaps have an effect in the closely-watched swing states from which they hail and where their votes will be counted.