Some out there are tied up in a pretzel wondering why Democrat Lew Fidler who “delivered” so much for the Orthodox Community lost big time to David Storobin in Orthodox Jews areas. Back after NY9 when Turner won, everyone was busy saying it was Israel, Israel, Israel. But now when Israel was not even a (major) issue, the Jews still snubbed the Democrat big time. What gives?
1) Exactly three months before the NY9 election I wrote an article how the Republicans can pick up that House seat. In it I made clear that economics are more important to Orthodox Jews than the issue of Israel. Indeed, days before the election, Siena asked voters in NY9 to pick one issue which is most important to them: Only seven percent in a district where Jews are 30% picked Israel, compared to economic/entitlement issues that was picked by a combined sixty percent in the poll.
Conventional wisdom is that if economic are in play, then the Orthodox Jewish vote needs to go to the Democrat. But here is what I wrote back on June 13, three months before NY9:
“Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic voters are extremely tuned in to the political discourse of this country. This holds especially true by those who are age 18 through 35. Many if not most of them grew up in immigrant households who voted Democrat in order to support politicians that hand out social programs, but these 18-35′ers see that the Democrats’ agenda has failed to provide them or their parents a reputable and independent living. In addition, it is a Democrat – New York Governor Cuomo – who is cutting social programs, which in turns shows to the Jewish Communality that relying on Government is not a sustainable thing. These voters – many still in need of Government Assistance due to the system being rigged against those who try growing on their own, such as my self – want the pro-growth, pro-business, pro-family, pro-strong defense agenda of the Conservative Republicans. As a result, Orthodox Jewish and Hasidic voters flock to Republicans, and many more are fans of Conservative Talk Show Hosts… Republicans who want the support of Jewish voters should address issues beyond a focus on Israel.”
Fast forward to early September and Siena backs it up in a poll. Speed step to March 20 in NY, and a Republican again takes out a Democrat among Jews despite the fact that Israel is not an issue. Both of these elections prove quite clearly that even if the Democrats want to steer the conversation away from Israel and morals, they need to change their message on economics if they want to win elections in areas where Orthodox Jews can decide the outcome.
2) Had Storobin tried to take on Fidler in the City Council, he would not stand a chance because Fidler indeed “delivered,” but so did Dean Skelos. The difference however is that State Senate Leader Skelos delivers in one year to the Jewish Community what Fidler as a councilman can deliver only in a decade. As such the latter and his agenda have bigger appeal. Increasingly, more community leaders, activists and voters are aware that it’s best for the Orthodox Jewish Community if the Assembly is in the hands of Democrats while the State Senate is in the hands of Republicans. Bringing millions in city council money will not trump it. Furthermore, besides for also “delivering” to the Jewish Community, the Republicans’ agenda is more in line with the overall Jewish values and interests. As such, why not go for the Republican all the way?