Monday, October 20, 2008

The Jews and the 2008 Election

10/20/2008--Mackenzie Carpenter wrote a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Sunday with the headline, "Democrats' usually reliable Jewish vote up for grabs". The story was not about polls but was an impressionistic survey of what Jewish people in the Pittsburgh area are thinking about the election. I have seen similar stories elsewhere, in Florida for example. And I personally know Jewish voters who have usually voted for Democrats in the past but who are either undecided or considered at an earlier point voting for Senator McCain. [My sample is not large, but the people I know changed their minds about voting for McCain after he selected Governor Palin as his running mate].

These stories about the Jewish vote make another story, this one in the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle on October 16, seem all the stranger. There have been complaints that the Chronicle, usually strictly nonpartisan—the paper does not endorse candidates, for example—has covered Senator Obama’s campaign more extensively than that of Senator McCain.

Last Thursday’s paper confirmed that this was in fact the case and claimed that the reason is that while the Democrats have aggressively followed up on invitations by the newspaper for interviews with national campaign representatives who have campaigned in the area, the Republicans have not done so, until very recently.

It’s an odd story. I’m sure that the Republicans will rectify this omission now in a hurry. But to a certain extent, the damage has already been done.

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