Conventional Wisdom

Why American Jews Don't Vote for Republicans

11.08.12 7:00 PM ET

Jonathan Kay writes about "Jewish Groundhog Day," or the cyclical myth that Jews will suddenly bolt into the arms of the Republican Party. He chuckles at the idea, and then describes why this will never happen:

[W]hy do most Jews vote Democrat? Simple: Because U.S. Jews are overwhelmingly urban, educated, and very, very liberal. In 2008, for instance, 45 percent of surveyed American Jewish voters described themselves as “liberal,” versus about 12 percent who described themselves as “conservative”—a difference of 33 percent. And that difference has actually grown (from 22 percent) since 1976.

Moreover, women vote more than men—and American Jewish women are an especially liberal voting bloc. I once heard Dick Morris say in a speech that they are the most socially liberal group in the entire United States. Why, exactly, would these people vote for a Republican Party whose official position is anti-abortion and pro-gun, and whose cultural identity is defined in large part by rural Evangelical Christians?