October 20, 2004


Jewish Voters, Reliably Democratic, Rethink Bush: The president's support for Israel and his response to Sept. 11 may be striking a chord. (Johanna Neuman, October 20, 2004, LA Times)

WYNNEWOOD, Pa. — Joseph Lubeck is a neurologist in this suburban Philadelphia town who has supported Democratic presidential candidates since, as an 18-year-old in 1972, he "relished the ability to vote for George McGovern."

Now he is wondering what his liberal neighbors would think if he were to put a sign on his lawn signaling his choice in this year's race: President Bush.

Herb Denenberg is a 74-year-old Democrat in nearby Radnor, Pa., who was appointed state insurance commissioner by a Democratic governor and almost won the party's nomination for Senate in 1974. This year, he too plans to vote for Bush.

Encouraged by signs that Lubeck and Denenberg may be part of a trend, Republicans are making a strong play for one of the nation's most reliably liberal and Democratic constituencies: Jewish voters.

Bush has much room for improvement — surveys showed he got 19% of the Jewish vote nationally in 2000, while Democrat Al Gore won 79%. But the president's firm support for Israel and his aggressive response to the Sept. 11 attacks — and concerns about the Democratic commitment to these causes — have earned Bush a second look from some Jewish voters.

"The Democrats don't have the stomach for this fight," said Denenberg, referring to the threat from Islamic terrorists.

Luckily Pat Buchanan isn't on the ballot this time to siphon off Jewish votes in Florida.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2004 1:29 PM

I guess I was quicker on the uptake than Mr. Lubeck. McGovern got my first vote for President and my last one for a Democrat.

Posted by: Rick T. at October 20, 2004 1:46 PM

To my everlasting shame, it took McGovern AND Jimmy before I grew up.

Posted by: curt at October 20, 2004 1:58 PM

Well, I'm a lot younger than you folks, but I voted for Clinton in '92 and (gulp) Nader in '96. I was under 30 at the time. I managed to get my mind right by 2000.

Posted by: Governor Breck at October 20, 2004 2:14 PM

Don't feel bad, guv. I went door-to-door campaigning for Dukakis when I was in college. Try living THAT down in my house!

Posted by: The Wife at October 20, 2004 2:38 PM

Hmm.. The Wife must be a looker.

Posted by: h-man at October 20, 2004 2:42 PM


As punishment she dresses in tweed and we play Sink the General Belgrano.

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2004 3:03 PM

By the way, after considerable detective work, I have unearthed a rare photo of OJ in his library if this linky thing works? like in open in a new window.

Posted by: h-man at October 20, 2004 3:15 PM

Allegedly, Bush got over 40% of Jews between the ages of 18 and 34 last time. That seems likely to be a majority. As members of our community see anti-semitism receding in American culture except for the fever swamps of the Left, they will start voting on other issues and will pick the GOP increasingly.

Posted by: Bart at October 20, 2004 4:43 PM

I think the key word in your question is "thinking". People on the left do that a lot. I wish it would catch on Rushland.

Posted by: BigBri at October 21, 2004 12:41 AM


Funny !!

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at October 21, 2004 2:18 AM

Herb Denenberg is supporting Bush?! He and Milton Shapp just about ruined PA back in their day. How the worm has turned.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 21, 2004 11:53 PM