“Hillary Clinton will do very well among Jewish Democrats,” said a top party source. “So will most of the others.
An interesting analysis presented this week by James Besser of The Jewish Week concerning the growing field and Jewish support accross the religious spectrum.
“Hillary Clinton stands to do disproportionately well with Jewish voters because of her very strong record in the Senate, her husband’s record and because of her positions on the issues that matter most to American Jews, especially on domestic issues,” said Steve Grossman, a former Democratic National Committee chairman and former president of AIPAC. Grossman has not decided which Democrat he will support in 2008.
Grossman called the two-term senator “a master of common-sense democracy” and said she “stands the best chance of winning the nomination, but even more importantly, the presidency.”
Clinton, Grossman said, will do “very well” with liberal and more centrist Jews and Jewish women in particular.
“Unless she stumbles, she has a virtual lock on the nomination,” said Johns Hopkins University political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg. “She’s a totally disciplined and professional candidate. Unlike some Republicans, she’s not likely to have tantrums on the campaign trail.”
That was a dig at Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the presumptive GOP frontrunner.
But many analysts say it’s too early to anoint Clinton the nominee.
“Right now, Hillary looks unbeatable, but looks are deceiving,” said University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. Clinton, he said, remains stuck with a liberal image even as she steers hard to the center. The results of that maneuvering could hurt her with different factions in the Democratic Party.
That could play out with particular force in the Jewish community.
Several analysts said that while Jewish liberals like her position on domestic issues—and believe her nomination would be a huge advance for women’s rights—many on the left will not forgive her longstanding support for the Iraq war.
At the same time, many Jews who in the past supported the more conservative positions of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) still see her as a hard-core liberal. “Trying to be all things to all people rarely works in politics,” Sabato said.