Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Chasing the Jewish vote in Fla - this time with serious money behind it



As sure as the TV ads start blitzing the I-4 corridor every presidential election, so does the chatter that Democrats have a Jewish voter problem that could deliver Florida to the GOP.

"The Jewish vote definitely is moving toward Mitt Romney," said St. Petersburg developer Mel Sembler, a top Republican fundraiser whom Romney invited to join him in Israel on Sunday. "I've had so many people tell me that they've always voted Democrat and they just can't bring themselves to vote for (Barack) Obama."

These predictions are nothing new. Republicans aggressively targeted Jewish voters in 2004, when exit polls found John Kerry won 75 percent of that vote. Same in 2008, when Obama won 78 percent of the Jewish vote. A Republican nominee hasn't cracked 25 percent in Florida since 1988.

"Obama got 78 percent last time, and the chance of him equaling that number is simply nonexistent," said Palm Beach County Republican chairman Sid Dinerstein, predicting Obama will win slightly more than 60 percent in November. "And if he gets in the low 60s, then I will tell you Florida is not really in play."

Story here

[Last modified: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 9:01am]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours