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Thursday, October 23, 2008

The ultimate swing state?

The JPost reports that Israel may be the 'ultimate swing state' in November's US election.
Approximately half of some 42,000 registered US voters living in Israel are voting in swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and could have an effect on the turnouts of those elections, according to Shimon Greenspan, director of the nonpartisan Vote From Israel organization, which helps Americans living in Israel to register and cast their absentee ballots.

"If the election is close, as it was in the past two [presidential] elections, then the deciding votes could be coming from Israel," he said.

According to the organization, Israel has the third-largest group of American voters abroad, behind Canada and Britain.

While the largest number of registered US voters in Israel come from New York or New Jersey, two states heavily in the Democratic camp according to polls, the next two states are the key battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida. Several thousand votes will likely be going to those swing states from Israel.

Furthermore, the significance of the votes from Israel could be magnified because they will come well before the November 4 election. Their choices, to be reported next week in an Israel-based exit poll commissioned by Vote From Israel, could influence American Jews in the United States, believes Greenspan.

This could slightly help Republican hopeful John McCain if an August poll by KEEVOON Research, Strategy and Communications remains accurate. That poll, which surveyed Israelis generally and not American voters in the country, gave the Arizona senator some 38 percent support, compared to 31% for Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
Actually, there was a poll in July in which 46% of Israelis said McCain would be better for Israel and only 20% said Obama would be better. And if anything, American Israelis - a majority of whom are religious - tend to be more in the McCain camp than Israelis generally.

I brought seven ballots to the US with me to mail. Four from New Jersey, one from New York and two from Illinois. All for McCain. Hmmm.


At 2:52 PM, Blogger Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

The Philadelphia County Board of Elections only sent out absentee ballots on 10-21, just a few days ago. It's not certain when these ballots will get to Israel. Anyhow, October 30 [or 31] is the cutoff date for getting ballots back to Philadelphia [postmark dates don't matter]. So even if the ballots get to Israel before 10-30, they would have to be sent back by some kind of special mail in order to get to Philadelphia, PA, and thus to be counted. This will likely disenfranchise thousands of Philadelphia absentee voters living abroad, including in Israel.


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